EJ750, W/Cdr John B. Wray, CO of No. 122 Wing, B.80 Volkel, the Netherlands, December 1944
W/Cdr John Wray was an experienced fighterbomber pilot who flew Beaufighters, Whirlwinds,
Hurricanes and Typhoons and after the No. 122
Wing’s commander W/Cdr R. P. Beamont was shot
down he assumed his position. Wray’s Tempest
EJ750 was marked with the first letters of his
full name‚ i.e, JBW, and flying it on November
3 he claimed a Me 262 damaged. After the war
however this “damaged” aircraft turned out to
have been destroyed. On December 17, 1944,
Wray claimed another Me 262 jet kill. Its pilot,
Lt. Wolfgang Lübke from II./KG 51 hit a building by
the left wingtip and crashed into the nearby river
Rhine during the low altitude dogfight. In January
1945, W/Cdr Wray finished his tour of duty as
a No. 122 Wing commander and the Tempest EJ750
was re-marked with SA-B code letters indicating
that it belonged to No. 486 (RNZAF) Squadron.
On February 8 it was lost during the antishipping attack when the pilot F/Lt Miller made
an emergency landing in the occupied territory.
EJ536, F/Lt Pierre H. Clostermann, No. 56 Squadron, B.80 Volkel, the Netherlands,
beginning of April 1945
The well-known French pilot, F/Lt Pierre Henri
Clostermann, flew with No. 56 Squadron from
March 18 until April 5, 1945. His usual mount was
initially a Temperst serial number EJ708 marked
US-W, in the end of March it was replaced by
a Tempest serial number EJ536 and on the
fuselage it again carried the US-W code letters.
On April 5, 1945, while at its controls, he damaged
two Fw 190D-9s and destroyed four Ju 88Gs on
the ground. On the starboard side under the
windshield Clostermann had painted 16 crosses,
symbols of his current air combat successes
(in total 12 confirmed kills and four probables).
He finished his combat career flying with No. 3
Squadron with the total score of 14 confirmed
kills, four probables and nine enemy aircraft
destroyed on the ground.
EJ705, P/O Frank A. Lang, No. 80 Squadron, B.80 Volkel, the Netherlands, December 1944
Right before D-day, the No. 80 Squadron,
operating Spitfires Mk.IX, was incorporated into
the Great Britain air defenses. In August it was
re-equipped with the new Hawker Tempests Mk.V.
In the end of September, the unit was transferred
to the Continent as a part of the 2nd TAF. Tempest
serial number EJ705 was most frequently flown
by an Australian pilot P/O Frank Lang. On the
starboard side under the windshield his Tempest
carried the nose art in the form of a kangaroo
holding the Australian flag. Flying this aircraft on
January 22, 1945, he destroyed two gliders and in
cooperation with other pilots from his unit shot
down a Bf 109. Flying EJ705, other pilots from
No. 80 Squadron destroyed two Bf 109 and one
Fw 190. EJ705 finished its wartime career on
March 11, 1945, when it was seriously damaged by
an in-flight engine fire.