PR782, No. 16 Sqn, F/O D. W. Baldock, RAF Fassberg, Germany, 1948

After the 2nd TAF was renamed British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), the main task for units deployed in Germany changed from keeping an

eye on former enemy to safeguarding the West from its former allies in the east. In a period of great reorganization, a Spitfire fighter-reconnaissance unit, No. 16 Squadron, was disbanded at Celle (Germany) on April 1, 1946, but was reformed at RAF Fassberg on the same day, by renumbering No. 56 Squadron. The unit used Mk.V Tempests until August 1946, when they began conversion to the Tempest Mk.II. On August 6, F/O D. W.

Baldock flew his Tempest V, EG-V, back to the UK and collected a brand new Tempest II, PR782 which he flew back to Fassberg, via Eindhoven,

the next day; it would also be coded EG-V, his allocated aircraft. On September 14, he flew it back to the UK, along with eight other Tempests from

his squadron, to take part in a massive Battle of Britain commemorative fly-past over London. PR782 would serve with the squadron through

to December 1948 when it was replaced by a De Havilland Vampire jet. PR782 then flew for three months with No. 26 Sqn before transfer to No.

33 Sqn, who took it to Malaya in August 1949; it was scrapped there following a flapless landing at Butterworth when it overshot the runway and

the undercarriage collapsed.

INFO Eduard - January 2022