S-199 , D-123, 101 Squadron (tayeset), Cheyl ha-avir, Hatzor, Israel, October, 1948

The aircraft coded D-123 was delivered to Israel on

July 28 on board Balak Flight No. 79 and joined the

action on August 15, 1948. A month prior to D-123's

entry into service, ex-USAAF volunteer pilot Stan

Andrews drew up the 101 squadron’s insignia of a

winged skull of death wearing a flight helmet and

goggles. The skull symbolizes the Jewish faith's

belief in the rising of the dead to form a large army

when the messiah comes to earth. The insignia was

printed on poster paper and applied to the left side

of the nose of 101 Squadron’s planes. In preparation

May 2022

for Operation Ten Plagues (15-22 October 1948), later renamed Operation Yoav, 101 Squadron fighters

obtained high visibility markings consisting of red

spinners and red and white stripes on the rudders

in order to distinguish them from Egyptian Spitfires. To further differentiate the Israeli fighters, the

Star of David roundels were applied atop the wings

for the first time. During Operation Yoav, Rudi Augarten claimed a Royal Egyptian Air Force Spitfire

Mk.IXc flying D-121 on the first day of the offensive,

on October 16. The kill was not confirmed by IAF

intelligence and is only considered as damaged.

In November, D-123 was given the number 1905 as

part of the introduction of a new military aircraft

marking system. There are a few repairs to the fuselage that appear as darker areas from photos of

D-123. This has led some researchers to believe

the aircraft received a two-tone camouflage scheme on the upper surfaces. However, it is merely a

contrast of older and newer paint of approximately

the same shade of green.

INFO Eduard