Blackadder Goes to War
Away from my normal focus on the BoB, I made this 1/48 Roden kit some time back after meeting the son of William Francis Blackadder, who joined the Auxiliary air Force in 1937 and in mid November 1939 flew with 607 (County of Durham) Squadron to France to support the BEF and the Allies against the German threat after the invasion of Poland and the declaration of war. This is a model of the a/c that he flew across the Channel with the squadron not receiving replacement Hurricanes until just before the German push west in May 1940.
Gladiator K8000 was lost in March 1940 when the squadron was practising squadron attacks in France. It collided with another of the unit’s aircraft when both pilots were killed. Francis Blackadder wasn’t involved in this tragedy and after leave back in England in early May 1940, returned to 607 Squadron and eventually returned to England after Operation Dynamo. He flew Hurricanes with 607 Squadron through much of the BoB based at Tangmere near Chichester and was awarded the DSO and promoted to Flying Officer. He went on to command 245 Squadron in 1941 and survived WW2.
I’ve always admired the Gladiator as a graceful design, albeit with a relatively short front-line fighter life span, effectively curtailed as faster monoplane designs came on the scene.
Thanks for looking
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.