KITS 04/2023

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

April 2023

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.

INFO Eduard