No.26 Sqn RAF
Founded : 8th October 1915
N Wagter in die Lug - A guard in the sky
No.26 Sqn RAF
|Aircraft for : No.26 Sqn RAF|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by No.26 Sqn RAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
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Manufacturer : North American
The ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.
Manufacturer : Supermarine
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1948
Number Built : 20351
Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1943
Retired : 1949
Number Built : 1395
The Hawker Tempest was a much improved development of the Typhoon and first flew in June 1943. and started service with the RAF in April 1944. mainly serving in the attack role in Europe against ground targets including the V1 Flying Bomb installations. It remained in service after the war until 1949 when it was eventually replaced by the Jet Aircraft. but continued for another 4 years in the Indian and Pakistan air forces. In total no less than 1395 Hawker Tempests were built. Speed: 426mph at 18,500 feet, Crew One. Range 800 miles. Armament: Four 20mm Hispano cannons mounted in the wings and a bomb payload of upto 2,000 lbs.
Manufacturer : Curtiss
Number Built : 16802
A total of sixteen Royal Air Force squadrons used the Tomahawk from British bases, and five more squadrons in the Middle East, as well as South African and Australian units. The Curtiss Tomahawk equipped the legendary Flying Tigers of the American Volunteer Group in China, in 1941, before the United States was officialy at war with Japan. In all, 16,802 Curtiss Tomahawks in a succession of improved models, were mainly built for the US Air Force.
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|Signatures for : No.26 Sqn RAF|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Flight Lieutenant Peter Arkell
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Peter Arkell
| Flight Lieutenant Peter Arkell |
For his first tour Peter flew Mustangs and Spitfires with 26 Squadron on intruder and low lever photographic sorties over France, before joining 161 Squadron as Tempsford in 1944, flying Lysanders into occupied Europe. He then accompanied the Lysanders to Burma where he flew 35 successful but hazardous missions supplying Force 136 behind the Japanese lines. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1997 for his work as chairman of the Anglo-American community relations committee at RAF Fairford. Peter Arkell passed away on 27th August 2010.
Air Commodore C D Kit North Lewis DSO DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Air Commodore C D Kit North Lewis DSO DFC
| Air Commodore C D Kit North Lewis DSO DFC |
After joining the Army in 1939, Kit North Lewis transferred to the RAF in 1940. In Aug 1941, after pilot training, he was posted to 13 Squadron, flying Blenheims, where he took part in the first 1000 bomber raids. After a spell with 26 Squadron, flying P-51 Mustangs, in Feb 1944 he joined 182 Squadron on Typhoons, as a Flight Commander. A few months later he was posted to command 181 Squadron. He led this squadron into France where it became part of 124 Typhoon Wing. In Aug 1944 he was promoted Wing Leader 124 Wing, where he remained until the end of the war. He died on 25th March 2008. 'Unfortunately my active participation in the Falaise operations was limited as I had a mild form of dysentery from 8th to 14th and I was sent home for a weeks recuperation from 16th to 24th August. However, I was very much involved on the 7th in the German attack at Mortain. I was leading 181 Squadron on an armed reconnaissance when Charles Green who was then the Wing Leader of 121 Wing reported large German tank concentrations at Mortain. Although this was inside the bomb line I accepted his verification and I immediately diverted to Mortain. There we found German tanks strung out along the road. We claimed 10 flamers. I followed this up with two more sorties in which we claimed another 7. There was very little flak, the main danger being the number of allied aircraft around the honey pot. During the period 6th to 21st August the Wing lost 9 pilots killed including Group Captain Charles Appleton and 4 taken POW.'
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