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|Signatures on this item|
Flight Lieutenant Roy Crane
|Joining the RAF Volunteer Reserve in 1940, Roy Crane was the deferred for nine months before call-up and flying training in the UK and Canada, receiving his Wings and Commission in December 1942. After operational training on Hurricanes, he joined 182 Typhoon Squadron in August 1943. Sorties included dive bombing and fighter escort duties. Transferred to 181 Squadron in April 1944 where worties with cannon and rockets included V1 and V2 sites as well as gun positions, petrol dumps, trains and marshalling yards, etc, in preparation for the invasion. In May this intensified with attacks on heavily defended radar sites along the French coast and shipping strikes. With the invasion a success, 181 Squadron was in the forefront of the Typhoons squadrons attacks on the German ground forces in Normandy, operating from forward airfields in France. On 2nd August 1944 his aircraft was hit by flak at low level and he became a POW. He had completed 71 operational sorties -- Whilst attacking tanks and motorised transport with rockets and cannon in the area of Falaise on 2nd August 1944, my aircraft was twice hit by 40mm flak at low level. I baled out and landed in a very hostile Waffen SS camp, lucky to be quickly rescued by two of the nearby German Air Force gun crew that had shot me down. Later that evening I was taken in an open German staff car by the Oberfeldwebel from the gun crew, a driver and an armed motorcycle escort in the direction of Falaise. We had only travelled a short distance, when about to pass a column of German tanks, they were attacked by six Typhoons firing rockets and cannon. They came round again and again, leaving terrible carnage. This was an ordeal that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. They finally got me out of the Falaise pocket to Alencon, after which I was eventually taken after intensive interrogation at Oberursal, to Stalag Luft III at Sagan.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Typhoon||Single engine fighter with a maximum speed of 412 mph at 19,000 feet and a ceiling of 35,200 feet. range 510 miles. The Typhoon was armed with twelve browning .303inch machine guns in the wings (MK1A) Four 20mm Hispano cannon in wings (MK!B) Two 1000ilb bombs or eight 3-inch rockets under wings. The first proto type flew in February 1940, but due to production problems the first production model flew in May 1941. with The Royal Air Force receiving their first aircraft in September 1941. Due to accidents due to engine problems (Sabre engine) The Hawker Typhoon started front line service in December 1941.The Hawker Typhoon started life in the role of interceptor around the cost of England but soon found its real role as a ground attack aircraft. especially with its 20mm cannon and rockets. This role was proved during the Normandy landings and the period after. The total number of Hawker typhoons built was 3,330.|
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