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|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington L7811 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Wellington was abandoned in the vicinity of Conksbury.)|
|New victory claim added : He111 claimed on 29th July 1942 by William Hoy of No.604 Sqn RAF|
|Pilot Officer Geoffrey Charles Smith added to aircrew database :|
Killed on 4th July 1943 when his Stirling BK718 WP-M of No.90 Sqn was shot down and crashed near Cologne. He is buried in Overloon War Cemetery.
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Blenheim T2282 :|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Warrant Officer E. Mayne : Squadron service dates updated, Rank updated (now Warrant Officer)|
|SEARCH OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
No.401 Sqn RCAF
Founded : 1st March 1941
Mors cellerima hostibus - Very swift death to the enemy
No.401 Sqn RCAF
|Aces for : No.401 Sqn RCAF|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|Donald James Mathew Blakeslee||15.50||The signature of Donald James Mathew Blakeslee features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Roderick Illingworth Alpine Smith||13.20||The signature of Roderick Illingworth Alpine Smith features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Aircraft for : No.401 Sqn RCAF|
|A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by No.401 Sqn RCAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1936
Number Built : 14533
Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built.
Manufacturer : Supermarine
Production Began : 1936
Retired : 1948
Number Built : 20351
Royal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
|Signatures for : No.401 Sqn RCAF|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Flying Officer Arthur Bishop RCAF
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Flying Officer Arthur Bishop RCAF
| Flying Officer Arthur Bishop RCAF |
Arthur Bishop is the son of Billy Bishop VC, perhaps the most famous of all the First World War Canadian Aces. Arthur joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941. Arriving in England he joined 401 Squadron RCAF flying Spitfires as part of 83 Group in the then recently formed 2nd TAF. After D-Day the Squadron was based in France, where he continued intensive flying. After the war he became a distinguished Canadian author, whose books include The Splendid Hundred - the story of Canadians who flew in the Battle of Britain.
Colonel Don Blakeslee
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Colonel Don Blakeslee
| Colonel Don Blakeslee |
Joining the RAF in 1940 Don Blakeslee flew Spitfires with 401 Squadron. When the Eagle Squadron were formed he transferred as an experienced flight commander with several victories to his credit. An aggressive and fearless fighter pilot, Blakeslee was promoted to lead 133 Squadron, and was described as the best fighter leader the war produced. Already an Ace, he transferred to the USAAF 4th Fighter Group. By the war end he had over four years of continuous combat flying, and 14.5 air victories to his credit. Colonel Don Blakeslee sadly passed away on 3rd September 2008.
Wing Commander Hugh Godefroy DSO DFC* Croix de Guerre
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Hugh Godefroy DSO DFC* Croix de Guerre
| Wing Commander Hugh Godefroy DSO DFC* Croix de Guerre |
Born on the 28th of October 1919 in Java while his Dutch father worked there, Hugh Godefroy returned to Canada to be educated in Ontario. Hugh Godefroy enlisted in Toronto on 22nd June 1940 and trained at No.2 ITS, graduating on 27th July 1940, with further training at No.7 EFTS and No.1 SFTS, graduating on 30th January 1941. Hugh Godefroy was commissioned 21st January 1941 and arrived in the UK on 4th February 1941 going to No.56 Officer Training Unit a month later. He then joined No.401 Squadron,on 15th April 1941. Hugh Godefroy was promoted to Flying Officer on 23rd January 1942 and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on 4th March 1942. On 12th November 1942 Flt Lt Hugh Godefroy joined No.401 Squadron, and transferred to No.403 Squadron on 4th March 1943. On 13th June 1943 Godefroy was promoted to Squadron Leader and joined No.17 Wing on 16th August 1943. He was promoted to Wing Commander on 16th September 1943. On 1st May 1944 he went to the Royal Canadian Air Force Overseas HQ and returned to Canada on 17th August 1944. Between 10th September 1944 and 2nd January 1945 served on the War Staff in Toronto.
Flight Lieutenant Ian MacLennan DFM
Click the name above to see prints signed by Flight Lieutenant Ian MacLennan DFM
| Flight Lieutenant Ian MacLennan DFM |
Canadian Ian Maclennan joined the RCAF in October 1940, arriving in England in August 1941. He joined 610 Squadron in February 1942, then 401 Sqn, where he destroyed an Fw190. Posted to Malta, he flew his Spitfire off HMS Eagle on 9th June, and shortly after transferred to 1435 Flight. On Malta he claimed 7 victories and was awarded the DFM. He was commissioned, becoming a flight commander in November. In December he returned to England. In February 1944 he joined 433 Squadron as a flight commander. On 7th June he was hit by ground fire whilst covering the Normandy beaches, crash landed, and was taken POW.
Wing Commander Roderick Smith DFC*
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Roderick Smith DFC*
| Wing Commander Roderick Smith DFC* |
Flight Commander 412 Sqn RCAF, Flight Commander 126 Sqn RAF, Squadron Commander 401 Sqn RCAF. One of Canada's most skillful Spitfire pilots, his victory total included a shared victory over an Me262 jet fighter.Born in 1922, he joined the RCAF and was sent to Scotland for training on the Spitfire Mk.I. He was posted to Malta with No.126 Sqn, where his older brother was already serving. His brother was killed in action during theit time in Malta, and Roderick himself was forced to bail out of his burning aircraft. On D-Day, he flew over the Normandy beaches as Flight Commander of No.412 Sqn RCAF. He returned to Canada in December 1944 and retired the next year. Sadly, Roderick Smith died on 16th April 2002.
|Aviation History Timeline : 27th February|
|27||February||1941||Flying Officer A C Acworth of No.80 Sqn RAF shot down a CR42|
|27||February||1943||Wing Commander Lorne Cameron of No.402 Sqn RAF shot down a Fw190|
|27||February||1947||William Ponder, a WW1 Ace with 6.00 victories, died on this day|
|27||February||1976||Harry Bulow-Bothcamp, a WW1 Ace with 6.00 victories, died on this day|
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