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Author Topic: Darlington Spitfire, W3320, with 92 squadron (OK, it's a repeat posting)  (Read 12624 times)
Dave Gibson
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« on: June 13, 2009, 05:24:10 PM »

When I posted this in February, I got 120 views and no responses.  Sad  So I'll try again.

I've been trying for years to find the squadron code for this aircraft when it was being flown by 92 squadron. At this time, it was often flown by Don Kingerby.

A visit to the Northern Echo newspaper and Darlington Public Library, produced only a pre-squadron serice photo.

Any help would be appreciated.

Dave
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johnston
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 06:00:56 PM »

Dear Dave,
                The information you require is in the book 'The Darlington Spitfire' by Peter Caygill., and possibly also in Spitfire V operations and also the Biggin Hill Wing by the same chap. I've got them at home (I'm in the library no home internext access) so I can give you the info in the next day or two. Any particular reason you need this info? My father (Walter Johnston)flew with Don Kingaby in the same flight (they were room mates) during the period the Darlington Spitfire was with No 92. Dad flew W3314 mostly 'Hoisery Flight - Leicester' Let me know if I can be of any help - just don't count on a quick reply
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johnston
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2009, 05:23:04 PM »

Dave, looked at the books I mentioned and there was no mention of W3320's aircraft letter. Kingaby did fly 'N' at one stage. Dad did'nt fly W3320 which was 'H', and he also flew 'A' 7346, 'K' 7161, 'B' 3330, 'E' 3326, 'D', 'J', 'K',;Q','G'. Dad shot down 2 109's on July 24th 1941 in 'A' 7346 and a further two 109's flying 'G' on 27th September 1941 but nothing flying H which was his aircraft.  As far as Kingaby's aircraft goes the aircraft letter was none of the aircraft Dad flew so that cuts out some of the letters so perhaps 'N' may be as good as any!  Matching aircraft letters to serials is as you may know very difficult.It took one researcher about 15 years to find out that W3320's letter was H, and that was only because Dad for a short period after he joined No92 did include both serial and letter. I know Peter Caygill so when I'm next in touch I'll as. I'm also in touch with another researcher who is doing some work on No92 and I'll ask him. It is something of a long shot but may produce results.(or not).There are pictures of Don Kingaby in the cockpit of W3320 in alfred prices book Spitfire 1/2 aces and also in the Darlington Spitfire..
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Dave Gibson
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009, 08:49:18 PM »

Hi Mr. Johnston,

Thank you for responding to my post.

My interest in the Darlington Spitfire comes from the fact that I come from Darlingron. I have the Caygill books and have even spoken to him on the phone several years ago. I also did a search of the Northern Echo and the Darlington Public Library, all without success.

While doing all this, I took more than a passing interest in your dad's exploits. I thought it would be interesting to have some spitfires flown by the other "Johnnie" Johnston. If you can supply me with any information about your father, I'd like to do switch horses mid-stream and feature the aircraft flown by him during his RAF career.

Cheers,

Dave
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johnston
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 12:42:22 PM »

Dear Dave,
                 Thanks for your reply, thought there might be a north east connection there somewhere. Rather looks as if the aircraft letter when with No 92 may remain a mystery. If Peter Caygill has'nt got it then I think no one is likely to find out unless Don Kingaby's logbook has it noted in it.
                  Thanks for the interest in my fathers service and his aircraft. If you have got Peter Caygills book's these give a brief outline of his service.R.A.F.  Fighter Airfields of WW2 by Jonathan Falconer has some more information and pictures. There is a picture of him on this website on the article on 234 Squadron, and also on the 152 Hyderbad Squadron website run by Robert Rooker. I'm looking after my fathers logbooks at the moment as he is very poorly have just had a stroke. He flew about 20 types of aircraft in his service, with nearly 1600 hours from 1939 to 1953. I've also got copies of letters he wrote to other researchers etc. If you want to let me have your address I can send copies to you, other wise I just have to put as much as possible here.
Aircraft Flown:- Tiger Moth;Magister; Master 1,2, & 3; Spitfire 1,2 (A,B and Long Range) 5,9.12,14;Mustang 1,2,3 & 4, Lysander;Martinet;DH89;Anson;Oxford;Thunderbolt;P38;Wellington 1& 3;Expiditor;Hurricane;Liberator,DC3;Storch;Auster;Chipmunk; Hart;Audax.
Did 2 fighter tours; 275 hours on 1st (140 patrols and scrambles, 35 sweeps over france in 1941) 180 hours on 2nd tour 1943/44.
In case you want to contact me directly details are:-
Martin Johnston, 10 Baronsway,Whitkirk,Leeds LS15 7AW, tel 0113 2943321
I should also say I'm a model maker myself so I'v a few models of dad's aircraft, but as always some of the finer details which seem so vital to modellers are always lacking! - such is life.
 
Best wishes

Martin
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fozman
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 06:08:58 PM »

Dave,
I think that the Squadron letters were GR... however, which individual letter it received, I'm not sure.

It also flew with 64 Squadron when I believe it had the letter "L"

Interestingly, I'm researching one of the other pilots mentioned in the Darlington newspaper article alongside Kingaby - Flt Lt John Worthington Harder (or "Harding" as he was in the paper!) - he also appears in Peter Caygill's book
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Antoni
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 08:33:00 PM »

Until June 1941 92 Squadron used GR, the same codes as used by 301 (Polish) Squadron. From July 1941 they used QJ.
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johnston
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2009, 01:07:09 PM »

Hi all,
         No 92 sqadrons codes did in fact change from GR to the more familar QJ in about June/July 1940 after the Battle for France - see J.R. Rawlings book 'Fighter Squadrons of the RAF'. The codes QJ did cause some confusion with No 616 who were also flying Spitfires and often the only way to tell which sqn was flying what is to look at the aircraft serial.
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