The last flight
It was a warm spring morning, but there was a special mood in the air. At six o'clock in the morning the briefing began, as if simply ... And yet there was something extraordinary about it. on the blackboard the words "Ramrod 1554" were written in chalk, next to the present date April 25, 1945 ... The code name meant one thing ... A large expedition of heavy bombers in the cover of numerous fighter wings. And the destination was Berchtesgarden. Hitler's summer residence. Each pilot felt great excitement about the flight! It was to hit the very nest of fascism! Everyone was so excited that even the meal prepared in the canteen by the girls from the WAAF service was not successful, and they were pancakes. The flight was to take nearly six hours. Start at 07.50. Everything is going smoothly, the squadrons jump up one by one from the runway plate and form an array. Destination to the Netherlands! There is a meeting point with the Lancasters!
This is how the last combat mission of 303 Squadron began in the memoirs of a 303 squadron pilot.
Not long ago, on April 4, it was re-equipped with the newest Mustang MK.IVa fighters. It was the second and last combat mission of 303 squadron on these planes. The first took place on April 23, 1945. The war ended on May 8, and the squadron was disbanded on December 11, 1946. Some of the pilots returned to the country exposing themselves to harassment from the new communist authorities. Others were looking for a place for themselves in England (where the inhabitants of this country quickly forgot how much they owed them, because Squadron 303 was the most effective during the Battle of Britain in 1940, certainly knocking down 126 enemy aircraft), others, like our hero and the pilot of this story, major Julian Krok, who flew the plane marked with the symbols RF @ A with the serial number of the plane KH855, was looking for a quiet place for himself in distant Australia.
A few words about the model. The Tamiya set is from the year 2000, it is quite decent, although unfortunately some problems with the assembly of the fuselage appeared on the lower part of the glycol cooler. Due to some shortcomings of the form, it was very difficult to fill this place. You could say that it couldn't be done perfectly. To be honest, I inadvertently did not glue one element of the radiator into the center of the fuselage. Fortunately, you don't see it. Besides, the fit of the wings to the fuselage was very good. Another disadvantage was the location of the joints of the injection mold with the part on the parts of the canopy glazing. It was in such a place that it was impossible to hide this trace! A big plus, however, were the two cockpit canopes in the set to choose from, which made it possible to make a version from the Dallas factory. The drop fuel tanks needed some attention. They didn't fit exactly well, unlike the AZ-Model kit (due to shrinkage of the injection mold). For the first time, I decided to use polishing paste after priming to smooth surface of model. With quite a good result, I think. The surface painted with Super Silver II Mr Color gave a really even surface. I'm not entirely sure if the instrument panel should be hidden that deep. I think the sunshield over the instrument panel, under the cabin windshield obscures it too much. Nevertheless, the manufacturer also offers the option of making an open cockpit, which of course is a big plus, because the cockpit, which is quite decently equipped by Tamiya, is an eye-catcher - on my part. I only added the Eduard belt set. The main gear mounts quite well. All components fit very well. A bit of a challenge was the Areoprop propeller that I purchased in the Quickboost kit. It was necessary to recreate the Mustang IVa model. The folding of this propeller can be described as: for the persistent ones! Although the end result eases the hardships of work. I decided to re-paneling with some other shades of silver. Finally, weathering with Wash Modeler's World. The kit includes some pretty decent wheels with retreaded tires (unfortunately they require you to remove the injection mold seam through the center of them, though). The Tamiya kit definitely had fewer unexpected surprises compared to the Mustang MK.III's AZ kit (especially canopy fit much better). I hope you like the model and the construction thread was interesting to follow. That I should be forgotten. I used a set of Modelmaker decals of Polish 303 squadron Mustangs and a set of technical inscriptions (there were probably seventy of them, and each so small!) From Foxbot. I did not use the original decal set from the box at all.
To sum it up was it very fun build.I can confidently recommend the Tamiya kit to anyone who wants to convert a Mustang to the MK.IVa version from the Dallas factory using the Quickboost kit.
Some informations about major Julian Krok (you need to translate in goole)
He passed away on December 13, 2012. However, he visited Poland several times after the fall of communism.
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.