KITS 06/2021

JN766, No. 486 (RNZAF) Squadron, RAF Station Castle Camp, Great Britain, April 1944

No. 486 Squadron was established on March 7, 1942 at Kirton in Lindsey manned almost exclusively by New Zealanders. Initially, the unit was

equipped with Hurricanes, replaced by Hawker Typhoons later. The unit’s impressive record was acknowledged, and the unit was one of first

to receive the Tempest Mk. Vs. New aircraft began to arrive through January and February of 1944. The unit became part of the No. 150 Wing

armed with the Tempest subsequently and was deemed fully combat ready in April 1944. The camouflage schemes of the new Tempests

were composed of the so-called Day Fighter Scheme, with Dark Green and Ocean Grey upper and side surfaces and Medium Sea Grey lower

surfaces. At this time, the bottom surfaces of the wings of Typhoons and Tempests were marked with black and white stripes helping easier

identification of friendly aircraft. The specified width of the white segments was 24 inches, and the black ones were to be 12 inches wide. The

stripes were deleted from Typhoons on February 7, 1944 but Tempests carried them until April 20, 1944.

JN751, W/Cdr Roland P. Beamont, DSO, DFC & bar, CO of No. 150 Wing, RAF Station Bradwell Bay, Great Britain, April 1944

Roland Prosper Beamont was born on August 10, 1920 in Enfield in the County of Middlesex, and aviation captured his imagination at an early

age. In 1939, he underwent pilot training and was assigned to No. 87 Squadron, equipped with Hurricanes, where he flew during the Battle of

France and Battle of Britain. From May 1941, he served with No. 79 Squadron, and in December of the same year, on completion of his tour,

he joined the Hawker factory as a test pilot. In June 1942 he joined No. 56 Squadron flying Typhoons. Subsequently, he was assigned to No.

609 Squadron equipped with the same type as its CO in October 1942. In mid-May 1943, Beamont returned to Hawker, where he took part

in trials of the Typhoon and its successor, the Tempest. In February 1944, he was named CO of No. 150 Wing, made up of No. 3, 56 and 486

Squadrons intended to be equipped with the Hawker Tempest. One of the perks of being a Wing Commander was to be allowed to use one´s

initials for an aircraft code. W/Cdr Beamont made use of this privilege and his personal Tempest carried the letters R and B. Beneath the windscreen on the right side of the fuselage was the Wing Commander insignia.

JN755, No. 3 Squadron, Newchurch, Great Britain, May 1944

No. 3 Squadron was formed in 1912 and at the beginning of the Second World War was equipped with the Hawker Hurricanes. As a component of the British Expeditionary Force, it fought over Belgium and France. When back to the Great Britain, the squadron was tasked with patrol duties over the Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow and from April 1941 it operated over southern England as a night fighter unit. In February

1943, the unit was re-equipped with the Hawker Typhoon and a year later with the Tempest. Armed with these “beasts”, the unit prepared

itself for the invasion to the Europe but was held back to defend southern England against the V-1 flying bombs instead. When the V-1 launch

sites were over-run, it was one of the Tempest squadrons transferred to the European mainland to support advancing Allied troops all the

way to the end of the war. No. 3 Squadron stayed in Germany until May 1999 as part of the British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), 2nd TAF

and RAF Germany. From April 20, 1944, the standard camouflaged Tempests did not carry the black and white ID stripes. The code QO was

assigned by No. 3 Squadron until June 5, 1944, when they were replaced by the JF code.

INFO Eduard - June 2021