PR856, F/Lt Jack Frost, No. 26 Sqn, No. 135 Wing BAFO, Zeltweg, Austria, July 1947

No. 26 Squadron received the Tempest Mk.II serial number PR856 on New Year 1947. It was used as a personal aircraft of the A flight leader F/Lt Jack Frost. His Tempest sported the red markings on the propeller spinner and drop tanks indicating that the aircraft belonged to the A flight. On July 15, 1947, as a reaction to the growing tension at the Yugoslav-Italian border the No. 135 Wing flew to Austrian Zeltweg, the closest suitable airbase the RAF could operate from, under the code name Operation Diagram. Trieste, the center of the riots, was barely over 30 minutes of flight away. To demonstrate its presence, four RAF Tempests led by F/Lt Frost from the No. 26 Squadron overflew the mansion of the Yugoslav president Josip Tito. After a month of the operations out of the Zeltweg airbase the No. 135 Wing returned to Fassberg. In April 1949, when the No. 26 Squadron was re-equipped with Vampire FB.5 aircraft, PR856 was returned to the Great Britain. After it was stored at the No. 20 Maintenance Unit in Aston Down this aircraft became one of twenty surplus Tempests F.II which in the summer 1951 were sold to the Indian government.


PR859, No. 33 Squadron, Butterworth, Malaya, October 1949

In June 1949 the Tempests F.2 (the Arabic numerals replaced Roman ones in 1948) from the No. 33 Squadron were dispatched to Malaya on board of the HMS Ocean. Some of them were already painted in the new standard “aluminum” scheme. In October 1949 the remaining camouflaged Tempests were oversprayed with the new scheme, one of them was PR859 marked 5R-Z. The code letters on this aircraft were painted in blue color indicating B flight. The propeller spinner was painted in the same color. By the end of 1949 the No. 33 Squadron was fully operational tasked with maintaining four Tempests on scramble for strikes against the MNLA communist terrorists (Malaysian National Liberation Army). During the next 21 months many sorties were flown deploying the rocket and cannon weaponry to support the army operations to make MNLA to retreat.


A143, No. 14 Squadron, Royal Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan, 1949–1950

On November 1, 1948, in Peshawar the No. 14 Squadron of the Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) was established. Only four days later the first encounter of Indian RIAF and Pakistani RPAF aircraft took place when two RIAF Tempests attacked the Pakistani Dakota. On January 15, 1949, the No. 14 Squadron was disbanded due to the fact that during December the unit had lost two Tempests and without replacement aircraft the situation became critical. The supplies of new Tempests commenced in March 1949 and the aircraft were immediately allocated to the combat units. They received the serials from A128 to A151 and were easily recognizable thanks to their desert camouflage scheme. The recognition stripes were not applied. As the material and personal situation improved on December 15, 1949, the No. 14 Squadron was re-activated under the leadership of Polish pilot Julian Kazimierz Żuromski. On March 24, 1950, the unit has been relocated to Miranshah for its first combat deployment against Faqir of Ipi uprising.


HA626 (ex MW391), F/O, Ian S. Loughran, No. 10 Squadron, Royal Indian Air Force, Jamnagar, India, January 1952

HA626 flew with the No. 10 Squadron carrying the original aluminum scheme with the fuselage national insignia in place of the original “Chakra” markings. There is the IAF No. 10 Squadron insignia in the form of a Winged Dagger in the yellow circle painted under the windshield. It was designed by F/O Ian Steele “Locky” Loughran and painted for the first time on Tempest Mk.II serial number HA626.