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 - December 2021