Monday, 1 December 2014

Chris Hayward
Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project
 December Newsletter

At last things are looking up for the shop, all the merchandise is all in one place and in the safe hands of Rob Bowater. We also now have Paypal working correctly so if any one wants to order goodies for Christmas there is still time, you will find a list of some of the items at the end of this issue.

A request for charity status has been submitted to HMR&C at long last, and we await their reply hopefully this will open up further avenues for us regarding funding and also for us to gain from gift aid.

Matt has managed to get hold of an aerial for the project, it does require a bit of work as would be expected but at least it is the right type.

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

Further information is still being gathered for the Whirlwind documentary which is being produced by Jim Munro, both Eric Brown and the late Peter Twiss both had first hand knowledge of the Whirly. Peter Twiss flew P6994 during its visit to the US and some confusion surrounds its fate it was believed to have been scrapped at NAS Pensacola.. The Peregrines were removed after evaluation and one of them is supposed to have powered the base commander's powerboat. But further information is hard to come by. So if  any one out there has any further knowledge please contact Jim at the email address below.

MacDeutsch Films, Henley-on-Thames U.K.


Rene has been doing a lot of CAD work on the tail wheel, he has now been able to produce an image that shows it as it is, he was also able to produce an animation that showed how the retract system worked
Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project




                                          Whirly Stories
Copyright Richard J. Caruana
30th of December 1940 she was sent to 30MU at Dumfries and on the 13th of February she was sent to 263 Squadron who at that time were based at Exeter at that point she was given the code of HE-S.
She was damaged during an air raid in March of 1941 at St Eval and was sent to Westland in May of the same year.
She joined 137 Squadron in July of 1942 at Matlaske and coded SF-A. On the 20th of December she collided with a pole at Manston. She finally crash landed at Manston during June 43 while being flown by John Barclay after suffering battle damage.

Operational hours 53:40 

Thanks to Rob Bowater for the above information from his book. 

Copies of Rob's book can be obtained direct from him at

Those of you that read the first newsletter may remember that when I first became interested in the Whirlwind I would go of to Kew and browse through the ORB of both Squadron's with the intent of writing a book on this fascinating aircraft unfortunately life became more complicated and the project got shelved although I kept what I did, after all pounding words out on an old typewriter I wasn't going to throw them away

With the renewed interest in the Whirlwind and some great books now out on the subject there is no way that I was going to be able to match those avenues of research so please find below my small offering to the Whirlwind from 1981.

Whirlwind book

137 Squadron

This was the second of the two Whirlwind Squadrons and was ordered to form at Colerne on the 29th of September 1941, under Fighter Command signal Q109 of the 12th of September the same year. Squadron leader Sample DFC was to be in charge , a little later the site of formation was changed to Charmy Down to replace 125 Squadron.

On the 22nd of September F/LT J S Hughes and S/pilot D ST.J Jowitt were posted from 263 Squadron to give some experience to the new Squadron. Orders were then sent out to the various maintenance units for the delivery of 18 Whirlwinds. On the 28th   F/LT P Hogan was posted as Adjutant from RAF Ercall he arrived  at 137 the following day.

On the 30th of September the strength of the squadron consisted of, 6 officers, 1 S/GT Pilot, 12 senior NCO’s and 165 other ranks.

Due to the severe lack of facilities and equipment the maintenance and inspection of the Whirlwinds was carried out at RAF Filton by part of 137’s maintenance flight which was posted there. Flying to the end of the month consisted of transport flights to and from Filton and training flights by S/L Sample who had not flown Whirlwinds before, air firing tests were also carried out at Sand Bay near Bristol. With all serviceable Whirlwinds so tested the number of flying hours totaled 171. By this time pilot strength had increased from 3 on the 30th of September to 15 on the 19th of October with 6 Officers and 9 Sergeants all from 263 Squadron.

By the 20th of October there were a total of 18 aircraft 12 of which were operational, of the 15 pilots 8 were also operational and the 7 others were undergoing intensive training which included air to sea practise firing.

The Squadron’s first operational sorti was carried out on the 24th of October when at 13:10hrs S/Lr Sample and F/O Clark flew to the Squadrons forward base at Predannack in Cornwall, they were followed at 13:15hrs by Sgt Haggberg who was to be the reserve pilot. On reaching Predannack the aircraft were refuelled.

The 2 aircraft P7053 and P7050 left the station at 15:00hrs their objective being the railway sidings at Landernau near Brest and the trains of fuel containers which were there. They crossed the French coast at 15:35hrs at a height of 5 to 6 hundred feet, the visibility was about 10 miles and cloud cover was about 4/10’s at 600 feet.    

Both Pilots attacked the sidings together but found that the containers had been moved. S/L sample fired on some coal trucks which started to smoke, at the same time F/O Clark attacked a large Locomotive and trucks the shells from his four 20mm cannons leaving the train enveloped in steam.

All the time the Whirlwinds were over France there had been no opposition from either air of ground forces although two unidentified aircraft were seen in the neighborhood of Breast, flying in a north westerly direction. Both Whirlwinds returned safely to Predannack at 16:15hrs.

The next sorti took place two days later, this was another attack on a goods yard but this time it was Landivisian in North West France that was the target. F/LT Hughes and Sgt Robertson were to carry out the mission and left the station at 12:50hrs heading for Predannack, this time it was Sgt Peskett in reserve. Forward base was reached at 13:35hrs with both aircraft taking of again at 14:30hrs for the target. After an uneventful flight across the channel, landfall was made four miles west of D’Ile De Batz and Landivisian was reached at 15:02hrs, a low level attack was made on a train of covered trucks at a height of 150ft and a second pass made at 400ft, both pilots reported seeing hits on the train and some smoke was also seen. They then turned their attention to a wireless mast five miles to the north this was also believed to have been damaged. Again as during the previous operation no air of ground opposition had been encountered. On their return to forward base they made landfall over Lizard Point at 15:45hrs. Unfortunately F/LT Hughes’s Whirlwind burst it’s tail wheel on landing it was decieded that F/LT Hughes would take Sgt’s Pesketts aircraft back to Charmy down the Sergeant would then re-join his Squadron when the Whirlwind was repaired.. 

Shop Talk

As I mentioned earlier the shop is now up at running and here are some of the items that we have for sale.

For further items please check out our web Shop
Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

Unframed prints of the prototype Whirlwind from a painting by Dave Gibbings with the facsimile signatures of  Petter, Penrose and Daveport

£25.00 including P&P

There is also an unsigned version available for £20.00 including P&P

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

Whirlwind T Shirts now only available in M,L and XL although stock of the M and XL are limited.

£10.00 plus P&P

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

Whirlwind Base ball caps are also available in one size fits all

        £9.00 plus P&P

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

Great wooden models of the Whirlwind are also available

           £60.00 plus P&P

Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project

                                      Whirlwind Mug

                           £6.00 plus P&P

                Contact details

         The Whirlwind Fighter Project is a member of the British Aviation Preservation Council.

                                Copyright Whirlwind Fighter Project 2011/2014

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