WITH the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings less than two weeks away the RAF’s Typhoon Force has applied invasion markings to one of its FGR4s, ZK308 of 29 (R) Squadron. Adourned in the iconic black and white invasion markings and coded TP-V, the aircraft will act as a tribute to the significant role the crews of the Hawker Typhoon, its World War II namesake. On May 21 the Typhoon along with Spitfire Mk 9 MK356/’5J-K’ was officially unveiled at RAF Coningsby, Lincolshire.
The code TP-V was one worn by Hawker Typhoon IB MN526 of 198 Squadron on D-Day. It had originally been planned to paint an aircraft in D-Day markings of one of the current Typhoon units, until it was realised that none of them still had Hawker Typhoons on D-Day.
During the D-Day celebrations on June 6, the Spitfire Mk9 will fly alongside the blue reconnaissance Mk 19, PM 631, Dakota ZA947 and Lancaster PA474 in what is sure to be an emotive flypast over Normandy on D-Day. A third Spitfire, Mk16 TE311 will act as a spare aircraft and as a result is to receive invasion markings too.
Flying the Typhoon FGR4 was this year’s Typhoon display pilot, Flt Lt Noel Rees, while the Battle of Briatin Memorial Flight’s Sqn Ldr Anthony Parkinson in the Spitfire. Flt Lt Noel Rees said of the formation display: “Flying alongside the Spitfire in a Typhoon similarly marked with invasion stripes was a great honour and a fitting commemoration for D-Day, which was a remarkable point of our history”.
Also present during the official unveiling was Flying Officer (Retd) Paddy Byrne, 92, a Hawker Typhoon D-Day pilot, travelled to witness the event and said: “It was marvellous seeing the Typhoon, but for me it was more about meeting the people – those who fly the aircraft and those who help to get it in the air in the first place.” Alan Warnes
The specially marked D-Day Typhoon Typhoon FGR4, ZK308/TP-V sits alongside Spitfire LF.IXE MK 356/’5J-K’.