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Another old warbird - Typhoon 1b of 137 Squadron RAF
Posted By: PJ1, 03-24-2018, 12:50 AM

Today I got hold of a pile of old documents and photographs belonging to my late father-in-law, JA (Jack) Horne. Families split up and stuff goes who knows where. But someone kindly tracked us down and returned this material. Jack was in the RAAF, but like a lot of RAAF pilots, served in Europe with the RAF during WWII. He was in 137 Squadron, and flew ground attack Hurricanes and Spitfire Vb's before ending up with the Hawker Typhoon 1b. These are shots of him and his usual aircraft "SFX". The rocket equipped Typhoon was a potent force - the eight six-inch rockets delivered something like a broadside from a battleship. Jack was the first pilot to take down a V1 Flying Bomb (the Doodlebug) with rockets. He ended up with a tally of four V1s (one short of being an Ace).


The Typhoon was a big fighter. It was developed to be an interceptor but the engine would not perform at altitude. However, nothing could touch it for speed at sea level and it could carry a decent payload. Because of this it became a ground attack work-horse. Squadrons usually crossed the English Channel at wave-top height to stay under the radar and there were instances where propellers were bent when an aircarft slipped a bit low and hit a wave.


Of course, it was risky flying. Jack completed two tours and was shot down or crash landed on several occasions. The pics tell a bit of a story. I assume it was a squadron mate who took the photos. This must have been before D-Day as they got black and white ID stripes on the underside for D-day and later.


Tyhoon 1B "SFX" of 137 Squadron (piloted by F/O Jack Horne). The payload is eight 6-inch rockets (plus four wing-mounted cannon).




Airborne! Wheels not yet raised. Whoever took the photo panned nicely as close examination of the full size scan shows the background is slightly blurred.



Back from a successful op. Jack Horne at far left.




Ditched! Jack Horne on wing at left after crash landing on a beach (probably in Southern England).



Last edited by PJ1; 03-24-2018 at 12:56 AM.
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03-24-2018, 01:10 AM   #2
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A very nice set of memories to have.
03-24-2018, 01:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
Families split up and stuff goes who knows where. But someone kindly tracked us down and returned this material.
QuoteQuote:
I assume it was a squadron mate who took the photos. This must have been before D-Day as they got black and white ID stripes on the underside for D-day and later.
As for the first image, I guess everybody in the squadron got a copy as there is a copy at Wikimedia and the Imperial War Museum and The Australian War Memorial have copies.

But that's good as it gives us the location and date. Eindhoven, Holland. October 16 1944. 137 Squadron were there September 1944-January 1945.

If you look closely there's a Hurricane in the background under the Typhoon. There are no invasion stripes on the Typhoons but it looks like there are on the Hurricane.

Anyway, thanks for posting.
03-24-2018, 03:11 AM   #4
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What a terrific series of a group of pilots that fought so bravely and so hard to defend their homeland. Very moving, indeed.

TT

03-24-2018, 03:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by alfa75ts Quote
As for the first image, I guess everybody in the squadron got a copy as there is a copy at Wikimedia and the Imperial War Museum and The Australian War Memorial have copies.


Thanks for that info. Yes, the date on the back of the prints is 28 December 1944 (I should have picked that up) but I don't think that is when they were taken because the snow was pretty thick at Eindoven by the end of December from what he told me. The second pic (same date and probably also at the War Memorial) is his aircraft but realistically the first could have been any from 137 Squadron (I just assumed both were him when he said "Here I am" and showed them to me years ago). I have another print of a Typhoon covered in snow. It isn't 137 Squadron, but I assumed that one was Eindoven when I saw the snow.
03-24-2018, 04:19 AM   #6
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Great photographs, and the stories behind them Pete. Thanks for sharing a part of your family history with us mate.
03-24-2018, 05:13 AM   #7
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Great pictures; the typhoon always looks very impressive. Good timing too, the RAF will be celebrating it's centenary on the 1st April.

03-24-2018, 10:13 AM   #8
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Love the Tiffy! I think that the Engine had some reliability issues that never got fully worked out until late in the war, as well as some main spar issues in high G turns, thus she was a great ground attack aircraft and fast enough to stop V-1s. Great story, thanks for posting your images!

I think the last image is at an airfield since I see PSP under the wing behind the landing gear to keep it from sinking into soft ground.
03-24-2018, 10:41 AM   #9
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Great historical photographs of WW2. Thanks for posting.
03-24-2018, 12:06 PM   #10
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What an amazing time capsule! I really enjoyed seeing these. Thanks for sharing them with us.
03-25-2018, 02:05 PM   #11
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Thank you all for for the comments.



QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
I see PSP under the wing behind the landing gear to keep it from sinking into soft ground.
I think the PSP is there because it is being recovered from the beach. The two people in the background appear to be the "guards". Certainly it is on a beach.

Last edited by PJ1; 03-25-2018 at 02:10 PM.
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