X4425, F/Sgt. George Cecil Unwin, No. 19 Squadron, RAF Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, August/September 1940
THE FEW. This aircraft illustrates the final configuration of the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain, including the rearview mirror and fully
armored features. The pilot of this aircraft was George Unwin, nicknamed ‘Grumpy’, and was one of the most experienced pilots, and not just
within No. 19 Squadron. He was one of the first Spitfire pilots, and flew the new plane serialled K9792 as early as August 16th, 1938. He test
flew fifteen new Spitfires during tests conducted in the fall of 1938. He pulled off a successful forced landing in K9797 after an engine failure,
skillfully avoiding the village of Acton in Suffolk. During Operation Dynamo, he shot down three aircraft, an Hs 126, a Bf 110 and an He 111.
The Battle of Britain allowed him to raise the total by another eleven kills. At the end of the year, he ended flying operationally, and served
as a flight instructor until October, 1943 with several training units. From April until October, 1944, he returned to combat flying, this time in
Mosquitos with No. 613 Squadron with No. 2 TAF. At the end of 1944, he went back to instructional flying. From 1948 to 1952, he flew the
Bristol Brigand. Also in 1952, he took part in the fighting against communist insurgents in Malaysia. He entered civilian life in 1961 with the
rank of Wing Commander. He died at the age of 93 on June 28th, 2006.
X4382, P/O Osgood Philip Villiers Hanbury, No. 602 Squadron, RAF Westhampnett, West Sussex, September 1940.
END OF THE BATTLE. Osgood Hanbury, nicknamed ‘Pedro’, was a graduate of Eton College, began his military career in June, 1940 as a pilot of
Lysanders. He volunteered to join a fighter unit on September 3, 1940, and was assigned to No. 602 Squadron. His X4382 is another representative of the later Spitfire Mk.I. Towards the end of the year, Hanbury had four confirmed kills to his credit. In May, 1941, he was transferred
to the Middle East and No. 260 Squadron, flying Curtiss P-40s. On May 22nd, 1942, he received the DFC for his role in the defense of Tobruk,
and he was given command of said unit with the rank of Squadron Leader. On May 22nd, 1943, he married Patrice Cecil Harman. He died
eleven days later, on June 3rd, when a Ju 88C flown by Leutnant Hans Olbrecht shot down a No. 117 Squadron Lockheed Hudson, flown by
S/Ldr Robert Yaxley. At the time of his death, Osgood P.V. Hanbury had eleven kills to his credit.
INFO Eduard - August 2020