We Fight by Night!

They Owned the Night.

RAF 264 Squadron

We Fight by Night

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier courtesy Chantal St-Amour
Click on the image for a larger view

The above picture is a Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. I. This photo was probably taken at West Malling where RAF 264 Squadron was stationed when Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier was with that squadron. The caption does not tell.

Now this is page 3 of the album with captions!

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier courtesy Chantal St-Amour
Click on the image for a larger view

Next time, I will try to find more information about who were “Bubbles” Chandler, Fred Gash, Lou Butler, and Jock Muir.


Note

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier’s niece has scanned her uncle’s album, and she is sharing it with everyone. If you use these images, please give due credit to Chantal St-Amour, and please don’t use them for commercial purposes.

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Lavochkin La-7: “Too Much Love Will Kill You”.

The radial-engined Lavochkin’s were, with the liquid-cooled Yakovlev’s, the fighters that allowed the Soviet AF to face in battle the Luftwaffe finest on a more or less equal footing. Somehow crude and certainly not refined maybe, but sturdy, fast and built in quantity. In good hands the Lavochkin’s gave a good account of themselves…. the top Soviet ace of the war, Ivan Kozhedub (62 victories), ended the war at the controls of one of them.

NPO Lavochkin company is obviously proud of their more famous product. One of the only three survivors is presented this way near their place at Khimki, Moscow. They should take instead a better care of it: a replica would do just as well, it is my humble opinion.

Caudron P.V. 200: Le Bossu de Guyancourt.

The ugly ducking was a touring amphibian conceived in the early 1930’s. Hard to find something more clumsy. Don’t know why its designer,  l’ingénieur Pierre de Viscaya, didn’t choose a boat-shaped fuselage instead of floats: its high mounted wing and 100 hp Renault 4 Pci  pusher engine should have allowed easily that configuration. The P.V.200 appeared in the Paris Air Salon of 1932, but not surprisingly, It never turned into a swan. Only this prototype was produced.

Charming in its own very particular way. Don’t you thing so?

Arado Ar 231: Der Kinder Surprise.

The smart Ar 231 was an ultra light-weight floatplane conceived in the early WW2 years to be carried and operated from submarines. Its main unusual feature was an offset wing design to enable its two wing panels to fold aft flat in its watertight stowage tube without interfering with each other, the inner section was designed on a slant so the right wing was in fact lower than the left. Tested thoroughly during 1940, the design couldn’t get over its inherent fragility, lack of power and awful air/seaworthiness qualities. Only a bunch of prototypes were built.

At any rate, a superbly elegant failure with some clever engineering behind it.