EJ762, F/Lt. David C. Fairbanks, No. 274 Squadron, B.80 Volkel, the Netherlands, November 1944
Davis Charles Farbainks, a native of Ithaca, New York, joined the RCAF on his second attempt after graduating of high school
in February 1941, to which he remained loyal throughout the war and after its end. Training was followed by service with No. 13
SFTS, for which he served as a flight instructor for a year. He was then transferred to No. 501 Squadron flying Mk.V Spitfires and
based at that time at RAF Hawkinge. He shot down his first opponent, a Bf 109, near Le Havre on June 8, 1944. During the rearmament of No. 501 Squadron to Tempests, he was transferred to No. 274 Squadron, also armed with Tempest Mk.Vs. On these he
shot down two V-1 missiles and 11 1/2 enemy aircraft before being shot down and captured himself on February 28, 1945. After
the end of World War II, he flew Vampires and T-33s during his employment with Sperry Gyroscopes at the RCAF Auxiliary, then
became a test pilot for De Havilland Canada in 1955. The “Terror of the Rhine” or Foob, as he was called by his comrades in No.
274 Squadron, retired to the skies in 1975.
NV994, S/Ldr Pierre Clostermann, No. 3 Squadron, No. 122 Wing, B.152 Fassberg, Germany, June 1945
Another photo, at No. 3 Sqn’s next station, B.152 Fassberg, probably very soon after VE-Day, shows the only change at that time
may have been the addition of the famous red spinner. This was unlikely to have been added during hostilities as, following
many misidentification incidents and attacks by Allied aircraft, 2nd TAF had very strict rules on markings; spinners were invariably painted black. Later in May, No. 3 Sqn added their unit badge (a cockatrice on a monolith, representing an early flying
creature and Stonehenge, which was near their first base) to all their Tempests and Clostermann decorated NV994 with his
scoreboard (including some kills which he had been able to confirm after the war finished) and the name ‘Le Grand Charles’ in
honour of General Charles de Gaulle. He flew this aircraft through June 1945 and took it to B.160 Kastrup, near Copenhagen. A big
air display for the Danish people was planned for the July 1, 1945 and went ahead despite bad weather. Clostermann flew JF-E
NV994 in a formation flypast but was unable to land at Kastrup due the bad weather. He managed to land at nearby Vaerlose, a
smaller grass airfield but NV994 was damaged in an accident (nature unknown).
INFO Eduard - December 2021