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118sqnpic164.jpg, 30127 bytes
118 Sqn Spitfire MK IIA at Ibsley - After 9June 1942.
L to R: 1. Fg. Off. H J Roberts, 2. Fg. Off. J G Stewart, 3 Fg. Off. Henry Mallory Sqn Adj,
4. S/L E W Bertie Wooten DFC (took over as CO 9Jun42), 5. Flt. Lt. R A Dickie Newbury DFC, A Flt Cdr.,
6. Plt. Off. F T Frankie Brown, 7. Fg. Off. R L A Claude, Croix de Guerre Free French Air Force,
8. Flt. Sgt. S A Jones DFM, 9. Plt. Off. Linder, 10. Sgt. Jimmy Talalla.   Anthony Hodge says: "I have been trying to pin down the likely time that this photo was taken, and think it might be late June 41, for the following reasons - 1 - the summer landscape in the background.   2 - the identification of a Spitfire Mk11A, by the exhaust port design, spinner and props, and no cannon judging by how close the pilots are to the wings, especially Mallory who looks as if he is leaning just where the canon would be.   3 - RAF records state that 118 did not receive IIB's until July and VB's in September.   Anthony later added: "As to my MK II theory, looking closely again at the picture shows a Spitfire in the background fitted with a Rotol wooden MKV shaped blade, something which I am familiar with (the MK II's had duraliam metal).   Whilst the Spitfire in the foreground is so cleverly hidden by people that there is little way of knowing as to whether it is a Mk II or perhaps now a MK V A with no cannon.   Squadrons did mix A's with B's, although if the majority were B's, as I have read, historians have been known to often only document the larger type numbers.   The Spitfire cockpit difference between II and V can't be seen, the exhaust ports look the same as a MK II and the plane appears to have been fitted with a De Havilland Airscrew and metal prop blades.   If this is the case then the earliest date that the picture could have been taken would have been September 41, which fits well with the scenery (when the squadron was given MK V planes).   It's all detective work but if the Talalla and Wooten link is correct it must be summer 42. But where was 118 stationed then? You see I am only working within the limits of my story and P7505 had left 118 on May 6th 1941. I notice in the photo list that Jones and Brown, if they are the same pilots, have moved up a grade since spring of 41. But as yet have not checked as to if when any of the other pilots had lost their lives in or by 42, which could also help to date the scene. About the difference in Airscrew types, I have been told that Supermarine fitted De Havilland and Castle Bromwich fitted Rotol for the MK V Spitfire. It is only a guess, but it would be good to find a definite date, if you have it?"   Anyone able to help?
(Thanks to Wilf Crutchley and Anthony Hodge.)
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