THEIR AIRCRAFT


September 1940. Kirton-in-Lindsey. 
The squadron's Defiant Mk I in front of a hangar from which it was temporarily evicted, making room to celebrate a Mass.


Jurby, late in 1940. The squadron's Boulton Paul Defiant (N1671).


The Defiant's turret, which became such a controversy at the beginnings of the 307 squadron history.
Left: The Polish fitter seats in the turned turret with its back windshield opened. Notice the one of the squadron's code letters "W" being somewhat awkward. The RAF never standardized those code letters, and they were painted in various sizes and type. Right: Designed by the French and manufactured by Boulton Paul under the license agreement, this Type A dorsal turret was power operated and equipped with four 7.62 mm (0.303 in) Browning machine guns. Those guns were electrically fired and the turret base ring was fitted with patches of insulation located in such a way that prevented firing the guns directly at the propeller or tail plane.



Profile courtesy of author Robert Gretzyngier
Mr. Antoni Lachetta from England challenges the correctness of this scheme portrayed by Robert Gretzyngier. He is sure it was painted black overall. It looks just like many night fighters of that time were black as the paint wore off very easily. The spinner is certainly not green, it is the same shade of red as the chessboards. This provides a clue as where it might have come from. It was not finally decided that 307 would become a night fighter squadron until January 1941. The Squadron's Defiants needed to be fitted with VHF radios and they were given or loaned replacements. It is quite possible that N3437 was one of these replacements and it might have come from 410 Squadron who painted the spinners red on their aircraft.


Sgt Jankowiak with his Defiant, after scoring his second victory on 12 April 1941.
(courtesy Robert Gretzyngier)

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Exeter, second half of 1942. 
EW-B, Beaufighter II with Merlin engines. Pilots called this version a "flying casket." The 2nd version of the Beaufighter, due to a short supply of the Hercules radial engines, was equipped with the Merlins, what changes the aircraft's flying characteristics and extended required take-off distance. Over 300 Mk II were built and 1/3 of them were written off due to flying accidents. Notice out-0f-proportions roundel on the fuselage of the EW-B. In mid 1942 new roundels were introduced with less white and big red dot in center.


Exeter. Baufighter Mk IIF, EW-A (R2445).
Picture taken on 9 September 1942, during Gen. Sikorski's visit to the squadron.


EW-U, T3048. This a/c had all-black matt finish.


The same a/c in flight paired with EW-N. Notice the antennas on the port wing of the foreground aircraft. Beaufighter had town pairs of those mounted in each wing. (courtesy Robert Gretzyngier)


Summer 1942. Above: Beaufighter Mk VI, EW-R (X8005), flown mostly by F/O Ranoszek.
Below: the same a/c in flight. Profile courtesy of author Robert Gretzyngier


Clyst Honiton (near Exeter), 10 September 1942, the Squadron Day.  Visiting General Sikorski C-in-C of Polish Arm Forces. In the background Beaufighter VI, EW-R.


Beaufighter Mk F VI, EW-Z, EL154 at Clyst Honiton. 
This a/c served with the 307 between 7 Aug. 1942 and 13 Feb. 1943, then transferred to No 488 Squadron. "Z" was usually flown by the crew Damsz/Sylwestrowicz.
(courtesy Robert Gretzyngier)


Exeter, early 1943. Squadron's Beaufighter Mk VI. Notice the AI antenna in the a/c nose.

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EW-L, HJ932. With over 400 mph speed, range of 1,500 miles, armed with four 20 mm cannon and four 7,62 mm machine guns, Mosquito Mk II was praised by the Poles. Below its profile, Ventura Publications.




Nice display of the A.I. Mk IV radar antenna. Nose mounted element transmitted the signal and wing elements received its return.
(courtesy Robert Gretzyngier)


RAF Predannack, October 10, 1943. Group of the 307 airmnen and ground crew. In the center is W/O Szemplinski, killed in operations on January 13, 1944. Notice the lack of radar equipment in the nose.


RAF Castle Camps, January 1945. In October previous year, the unit was reequipped with the Mosquito Mk 30. Below, two more photos taken at the same time and locations.
(all three courtesy Robert Gretzyngier)


Notice the bulging nose section different then on previous versions. Mosquito 30 was equipped with A.I. VIII or X cenimetric radar and carried no Brownings machine guns.



RAF Coltishal, late 1945. Mosquito Mk XXX and its pilot, F/O Malinski (right).

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