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Spitfire XIV armament and engine boost introduction dates

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Posted (edited)

Two questions here about the Spitfire XIV:

 

First, when did the .50-cal equipped Mark XIV start reaching frontline units? Page 607 in the series of books on the 2nd TAF says production of Mark XIVs with .50 cal guns was to commence in April 1944 "following completion of the first 100 or so with the original armament." I know for sure they were present by August 1944, but were they in frontline service before then?

 

Secondly, when were the increased boost settings first introduced to front line units? I know about 610 Squadron having their planes upgraded in mid-July 1944, but were there any other units that had the upgrade installed before this date?

Edited by LukeFF

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Posted (edited)
On 7/7/2020 at 6:11 AM, LukeFF said:

Secondly, when were the increased boost settings first introduced to front line units? I know about 610 Squadron having their planes upgraded in mid-July 1944, but were there any other units that had the upgrade installed before this date?

 

316 Sqn 1.7.44 in their Mustangs. Didn't 350 Sqn share an airfield with 610 and so therefore a fuel supply?

 

This note, dated August 1944, suggests that 3 Spitfire XIV squadrons were operating on hot sauce:

 backfire-2.jpg

Edited by Talon_
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On 7/7/2020 at 7:11 AM, LukeFF said:

Two questions here about the Spitfire XIV:

 

First, when did the .50-cal equipped Mark XIV start reaching frontline units? Page 607 in the series of books on the 2nd TAF says production of Mark XIVs with .50 cal guns was to commence in April 1944 "following completion of the first 100 or so with the original armament." I know for sure they were present by August 1944, but were they in frontline service before then?

 

If I read correctly the datasets kindly provided by @JV69badatflyski, which records the history of each and every XIV's fate from their data card records, there were only 44 Mk XIVe built in total (.50 variant) , with 15  lost to Enemy Action and 6 more to misc. reasons by the end of the war. I hope he does not mind if I post his table summary. 

 

The dates would indicate that the 'date of commencement of production' in April 1944 is a highly optimistic statement (and as is the general case with Spitfires), in this case it really means that they built a single prototype, followed by a very low rate of production, so this date its not to be taken as a face value for serial production.

 

The first (and in that month, the only) Mk XIVe is issued to 91 Sqn. is RM 726 in mid July (between 11-20), then its transferred to 402. Squadron in early September 1944.

Two more (RM 796 and 799) are issued to 41 Sqn in September, one (RM 806) in October to No 83 Sqn and so on - 19 Mk XIVe appears to have been issued in 1944 in all. 

The remaining 25 seem to start to be issued mostly in the 1945 period, including 5 issued to India in April 1945, and the maximum number in Squadron usage is cc 20, from late November 1944 till the end of the war, and are scattered amongst all Squadrons, with about half of them with 430 Sqn.

 

Issues of Mk XIVe to Squadrons, via JV69badatflyski (note that the single issue of RM 726 to 91 Sqn in July 1944 is not included in the table for some reason, but included with No 402 listings).

 

  jún.44 júl.44 aug.44 szept.44 okt.44 nov.44 dec.44 jan.45 febr.45 Mars-45 ápr.45 máj.45  
  1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10 11--20 21--31 1--10  
SQ-130 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 3 3 3 2 3 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 SQ-130
SQ-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 4 4 5 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 2 2 2 1 SQ-2
SQ-350 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 SQ-350
SQ-401 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 SQ-401
SQ-402 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 4 4 3 1 1 3 3 3 0 0 0 SQ-402
SQ-41 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SQ-41
SQ-412 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 SQ-412
SQ-430 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 6 5 8 10 10 10 9 9 9 10 9 9 9 8 6 SQ-430
SQ-610 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1

SQ-610

 

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Posted (edited)

@LukeFF

The table is clearly unreliable to determine when Spitfire XIV were equipped with .5

 

Looking at the ORB of 41 Squadron (available at the National Archives) it's clear that the squadron exclusively used .5 cals from October 1944 on.

 

 

 

 

 

A intelligence report from 30th September 1944 gives two missions, each with 9 Spitfire XIV armed 10,800 rounds of .303. Form 541 gives the serial numbers of the participating aircraft. 

 1944-09-30.thumb.jpg.1fcd3032350631d6796d9d39766aa1c3.jpg1944-09-30_541a.thumb.jpg.f3abede763b4a691c79208188c85b6bb.jpg1944-09-30_541b.thumb.jpg.437a2af527849757341afe726e312875.jpg

 

Report from 1st October 1944 mentions the use of Spitifre XIVE:

1944-10-01.jpg.fe60eafe940621ed12d731b30943fc88.jpg

 

Similar report from 2nd October 1944 gives the use of 11 Spitfire XIVE armed with 5,280 rounds of .5. Form 541 of the same day shows these were in fact different aircraft, i.e. 41 Squadron was equipped with at least 11 Spitfire XIVE. Some of the aircraft were also used during the mission on 30th September, so they must have been changed from .303 to .5 cal between these days.

1944-10-02.thumb.jpg.4ac26837e3285c409efea7c857550ad1.jpg1944-10-02_541.thumb.jpg.cc2cac6d7cad7b8bfc9b41866eeea7aa.jpg

 

Note: The reports don't distinguish between XIV and XIVE from 4th October on, they only state "Spitfire XIV" but ammunition is given as ".5".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loads carried September 1944 lists only .303 for Spitfire XII and also only .303 for Spitfire XIV:

1944-09-Load_Early.thumb.jpg.5946b1bf49ba537ef0762656f61d0e2d.jpg

 

1944-09-Load.thumb.jpg.dcccd3bc16cf2721128833d0c7db70a4.jpg

 

Loads carried October 1944 list only .5:

1944-10-Load.thumb.jpg.494904fd04116960ff206a050c3aadf7.jpg

 

November, December and January also list only .5

 

 

 

Edited by 41Sqn_Skipper
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15 minutes ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

Note: The reports don't distinguish between XIV and XIVE from 4th October on, they only state "Spitfire XIV" but ammunition is given as ".5".

 

Is anything known about retrofitting in the field or were Spitfire XIVc sent back to factory to receive an e-wing? Did something like that happen?

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50 minutes ago, sevenless said:

 

Is anything known about retrofitting in the field or were Spitfire XIVc sent back to factory to receive an e-wing? Did something like that happen?

 

E-wing and C-wing are the same. You open up the gun bays and change out the guns, plug the holes that aren't used.

 

For the "E-wing" armament configuration, the cannon occupies the outer gun bay. For the "C-wing", it occupies the inner gun bay".

 

C-type armament installation showing the cannon 20mm feed mechanism routing under the empty outer gun bay (top, center of page).

 

20mm-303-gun-installation.jpg

 

E-type armament installation, showing cannon moved to outer bay and browning now occupying inner bay

 

20mm-5in-gun-installation.jpg

 

Inner gun bay cannon, C-type wings on Spitfire RB140

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVe, RB140. The first Spitfire Ma… | Flickr

 

Outer cannon, E-type wings (image dated March 1945 at source) on Spitfire RM784

 

Image

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, sevenless said:

 

Is anything known about retrofitting in the field or were Spitfire XIVc sent back to factory to receive an e-wing? Did something like that happen?

 

As far as I understand the wings didn't have to be changed to equip the .5 cal. They were in both cases 'c'-wings and the 'e' designation is only used to identify the the use of the .5 cal. As said, the squadron records usually don't distinguish between 'c' and 'e'.

 

 

There is nothing mentioned in the ORB for 41 Squadron that the aircraft were exchanged or sent to factory.

1944-09a.thumb.jpg.a4a28c02865279ebdf867dbb4be7f97a.jpg

1944-10a.thumb.jpg.74d456c6059cb82196369a814b4c0e87.jpg

They landed on 30th September at 17.45 armed with .303 and on the following day the first Spitfire XIVE took off at 10.35 for "air test". The following aircraft flew on 30th September with .303 and on 2nd October were already armed with .5: RM788, RM765, RM797, RM799, RM710, RM698, RM767. It seems like it's something done literally "overnight".

 

The squadron 13 + 6 u/s aircraft on 30th September and 16 + 3 u/s aircraft on 1st October. 

1944-09Record.thumb.jpg.7d5aacbae0af5aeadcd3e24101ea837d.jpg1944-10Record.thumb.jpg.63cb871469d5a704494a2e03dc976ef8.jpg

 

 

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Thanks @Talon_ and @41Sqn_Skipper,

 

That explains it for me. So most likely they converted the planes "in the field" from c-type 0.303s to e-type 0.50s. Wasn´t aware that the "universal c-wing" offered that much flexibility.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

They landed on 30th September at 17.45 armed with .303 and on the following day the first Spitfire XIVE took off at 10.35 for "air test". The following aircraft flew on 30th September with .303 and on 2nd October were already armed with .5: RM788, RM765, RM797, RM799, RM710, RM698, RM767. It seems like it's something done literally "overnight".

 

Look at those serial numbers and look at this one :)

 

Spitfire RM764 MN-M of 350 Sqn with a Hispano in the outer gun bay (E-wing configuration) at RAF Lympne.

 

Spitfire Mk XIVe RM764, code MN-M of No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron RAF at Lympne

Edited by Talon_
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As I understand it, the alpha delineation (c/e) between armament types was a postwar nomenclature affectation. At the time, those fitted from the factory with .50s generally had ".50" as a suffix to the model description.

 

I suggest that 2nd TAF units would have had priority on these being the Spitfire units most likely to face the enemy on any given day. Similarly the conversion kits. It is also likely that logistics dictated that an entire wing would ideally convert en masse, so that all the units at one airfield and under one administrative power could benefit from a simplified supply situation, there being nothing more useless than stockpiles of the .50 ammo for .303 equipped aircraft, or vice versa.

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Appreciate all the info!

 

So, this is what I'm seeing, from both the discussion above and from documents I have on hand:

  • The wing armament could be switched readily.
  • 402 Squadron used Spitfire Mk IXs up to 9 August 1944. Then, on 10 August 1944, the ORB starts to list their aircraft as "Spitfire XIV E"

So, we know for certain that, at the earliest, .50 cal-armed Spitfire XIVs starting being employed in frontline operations in August 1944. Do we know, from any other ammo expenditure reports, if there were .50-cal armed XIVs in frontline service before that date?

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5 hours ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

The table is clearly unreliable to determine when Spitfire XIV were equipped with .5

 

Looking at the ORB of 41 Squadron (available at the National Archives) it's clear that the squadron exclusively used .5 cals from October 1944 on....

 

Are any of those ammo expenditure reports from the Summary of Events files, or are they from the Record of Events? If the former, then I need to go back and see if there are any for April-August 1944. That's the real critical time frame I'm trying to nail down right now.

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2 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

Does the armament have any impact on the wing-gas (is it 55 gal each?) capacity?

Here says no.

 

They should all have a 13 gallon leading edge tank (in both wings). It is the rear tank that could cause issues. For larger capacities in the wing (as in the PR), there was no more room for any guns.

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1 hour ago, LukeFF said:

 

Are any of those ammo expenditure reports from the Summary of Events files, or are they from the Record of Events? If the former, then I need to go back and see if there are any for April-August 1944. That's the real critical time frame I'm trying to nail down right now.

 

They are in an 3rd file called "Appendices". For 41 Sqn it's only available for 44/45 and it's in one big PDF containing the statistic tables and intelligence reports. Not sure if they are available for other squadrons.

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2 hours ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

 

They are in an 3rd file called "Appendices". For 41 Sqn it's only available for 44/45 and it's in one big PDF containing the statistic tables and intelligence reports. Not sure if they are available for other squadrons.

 

Thanks! I'll start with looking at 91 Squadron, since they are the "earliest" XIV squadron in our timeframe and map being simulated.

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12 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

They should all have a 13 gallon leading edge tank (in both wings). It is the rear tank that could cause issues. For larger capacities in the wing (as in the PR), there was no more room for any guns.

 

So it's closer to 55 liters 😅

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According to Christopher Shores & Chris Thomas' 2nd Tactical Airforce Volume 2, the Spitfire XIV units that joined 2 TAF were rearmed with .50 cals: the first of the XIV squadrons flew over to B.82, Grave and joined 125 Wing on the last day of September '44, having replaced the Spitfire IX units.

 

1514856574_2ndTacticalAirForceVol2104a.thumb.jpg.c192cb7e41f695d71b329145f30d144a.jpg1474889866_2ndTacticalAirForceVol2105a.thumb.jpg.a6ae2266f31ec8dc67c2d2eff3e9d5ff.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2020 at 2:25 AM, LukeFF said:

 

Thanks! I'll start with looking at 91 Squadron, since they are the "earliest" XIV squadron in our timeframe and map being simulated.

 

Appendix of 91 Squadron turned out to be not very helpful on that matter.

 

The left photo posted by @NZTyphoon above clearly shows the "c"-wing armament of a Spitfire XIV of 91 Sqn. It has invasion stripes on lower wing and full fuselage (upper wing not visible), so that's certainly June 1944 or later.

 

Update: 

 

130 Squadron 12th September 1944, armed with .303: 

 

q8n8JerkouFUiF7dCtp_dFlzGBXRTUeQegKgK_QM

Edited by 41Sqn_Skipper
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13 minutes ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

Appendix of 91 Squadron turned out to be not very helpful on that matter.

 

The left photo posted by @NZTyphoon above clearly shows the "c"-wing armament of a Spitfire XIV of 91 Sqn. It has invasion stripes on lower wing and full fuselage (upper wing not visible), so that's certainly June 1944 or later.

 

Thanks!

 

Meanwhile, I'm slowly starting to build a better picture of when XIVes starting appearing in frontline units. 322 Squadron Summary of Events mentions on 1 August 1944: "During the afternoon 10 new L.F. (E) Spitfire XIV were delivered. These are fitted with 2 20 mm. cannon and 2 .50" Browning."

 

So, we definitely now know that XIVes were in frontline service by 1 August 1944.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/13/2020 at 7:47 PM, LukeFF said:

 

Thanks!

 

Meanwhile, I'm slowly starting to build a better picture of when XIVes starting appearing in frontline units. 322 Squadron Summary of Events mentions on 1 August 1944: "During the afternoon 10 new L.F. (E) Spitfire XIV were delivered. These are fitted with 2 20 mm. cannon and 2 .50" Browning."

 

So, we definitely now know that XIVes were in frontline service by 1 August 1944.

It's interesting to note that 610 Sqn, at least, had the .303s removed from its Mk XIVs during the Anti-diver campaign, then replaced them in early September - starting on September 4 - as they started operations over the continent, prior to moving to 2 TAF. 610 also started using 90 gallon tanks:

 

 

402(RCAF) Squadron's August 1944 Summary of Events notes the conversion from Spitfire IXs to Mk XIV Es on August 9; their Mk IXs were delivered to 91 Sqn. It's notable that there was no transition  period as the new aircraft were operational the next day: "Pilots were very pleased with the performance and easy handling...": the last page shows

Equipment: 21 Spitfire XIV E on strength as of August 31st, 1944'

Flying Times   485 sorties...Operational day

                            29 sorties...Non-operational day

1368651365_402SOEAugust4432-001a.thumb.jpg.17337bf7be28ce68bda578ccf39de932.jpg

 

611069709_402SOEAugust443.thumb.jpg.c039c38f4a53688e416d7cb3fcf0cab1.jpg342356777_402SOEAugust444.thumb.jpg.01a96fe0c6982d1ac596f66f7e24b0da.jpg

 

 

Edited by NZTyphoon
Add 402 sqn SoEs; delete links
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Thanks! That's a really good clue as to when .50 cal MGs started being used. 

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Posted (edited)

Just to clear up any confusion, the 'E' or (E) suffix was, at the time, the informal squadron or RAF applied designation for Mk XIVs armed with .50 cal weapons;

From Shores and Thomas' 2nd Tactical Air Force, Volume IV:

Tiffievibe004-001a.thumb.jpg.4be518236f74910b11311bb0c9fdc9c0.jpg

 

The bubble canopied versions were recorded as F. Mk. XIVEs on the aircraft data cards because of the new canopy, not the .50 cal and 20mm armament which, as noted by Thomas, became standardized in April 1944: as it was, the majority of the bubble canopied variants were built as F.Rs.

Edited by NZTyphoon
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On 7/13/2020 at 8:46 PM, NZTyphoon said:

It's interesting to note that 610 Sqn, at least, had the .303s removed from its Mk XIVs during the Anti-diver campaign, then replaced them in early September - starting on September 4 

 

Interesting! So briefly they were flown with only 2x20mm cannons? Does this mean that there is a potential justification for a field-mod with an even lighter armament? It also might not mess up development to add it - as it sounds like no major modifications were made other than removing the 0.303s and their ammunition!

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2 hours ago, Avimimus said:

 

Interesting! So briefly they were flown with only 2x20mm cannons? Does this mean that there is a potential justification for a field-mod with an even lighter armament? It also might not mess up development to add it - as it sounds like no major modifications were made other than removing the 0.303s and their ammunition!

 

More likely, what happened is that they swapped the .30 cal machine guns for .50 cal machine guns.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

More likely, what happened is that they swapped the .30 cal machine guns for .50 cal machine guns.

 

It might be worth looking at the document again (in the link). It says that 610 Squadron has the 0.303s refitted on September 3rd-4th 1944 in preparation for the end of the anti-diver campaign and the transfer of the squadron to the continent. It seems clear that No.610 is still flying with 0.303s after September 4th.

 

The mention of refitting could mean three things:

- Swapping the .50 cal machine guns for .303s (seems implausible)

- Refitting 0.303s after they had been removed to save weight to assist in hunting V1s.

- The final, and perhaps most plausible possibility, is that 'refitting' is referring to a bout of extensive servicing prior to transfer to the continent and the 0.303s were always there.

 

We would need to look at earlier records to see if there is any mention of removing machine guns to be certain.

 

*edit* Squadron history refers to 'fresh guns', so probably replacing 0.303s which had taken wear during the anti-diver campaign? Also some interesting mentions of Typhoon operations against shipping: http://610squadron.com/a-brief-history-of-610-squadron/

Edited by Avimimus

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610 Sqn ORB Form 540 on 13th August 1944: "Most of the aircraft now have the machine guns removed." It then mentions further treatments like repainting and polishing. 

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Man, I just wish some of these ORBs were a little more clear in what armament they carried...

 

That said, I think I will go with the assumption that, just as the Mk IXs started being rearmed with .50 cal MGs en masse in June 1944, so also were Mk XIVs rearmed as such at the same time. It would go along with the known fact that XIVe production started in April 1944. With the time needed to build such planes, send them out to the aircraft parks and then issue them to squadrons as attrition demanded, the June 1944 date makes the most sense.

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6 hours ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

610 Sqn ORB Form 540 on 13th August 1944: "Most of the aircraft now have the machine guns removed." It then mentions further treatments like repainting and polishing. 

 

So... a process of gradual removal? That is consistent with a "V1 hunting" field-mod which was up to the pilot - in which case some aircraft might have been flying lightened considerably earlier. Were they still operational throughout this period (August to September 1944)?

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Posted (edited)
On 7/17/2020 at 12:12 PM, Avimimus said:

 

So... a process of gradual removal? That is consistent with a "V1 hunting" field-mod which was up to the pilot - in which case some aircraft might have been flying lightened considerably earlier. Were they still operational throughout this period (August to September 1944)?

From 610 Sqn's Summary of Events book, August 1944, they stayed operational while their Spitfire XIVs were being modified (see last paragraph of General

1137583311_610SqnSOEAugust19445.thumb.jpg.b682a0ce297050b5d4da674df4ff3a40.jpg

Edited by NZTyphoon
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1 hour ago, NZTyphoon said:

From 610 Sqn's Summary of Events book, August 1944, they stayed operational while their Spitfire XIVs were being modified (see last paragraph of General

1137583311_610SqnSOEAugust19445.thumb.jpg.b682a0ce297050b5d4da674df4ff3a40.jpg

 

That's some really good info there. @=FB=VikS, I think this would be a good mod option, where the only guns fitted are the 20 mm cannons. 

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8 hours ago, LukeFF said:

 

That's some really good info there. @=FB=VikS, I think this would be a good mod option, where the only guns fitted are the 20 mm cannons. 

 

Sorry if I have missed something here, but were does it say that aircraft actually flew operationally on combat sorties without machine guns?  And if they did, was this only against the V1?

 

Also, a squadron can stay operational but not have all of its aircraft or pilots fully operational at the same time.  Again, sorry if I have missed the obvious, but I am struggling to see why we would want a mod option for cannons only for general operations.

 

Thank you very much for all the information and research you chaps have been sharing.  Very good of you. 

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

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30 minutes ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

 

Sorry if I have missed something here, but were does it say that aircraft actually flew operationally on combat sorties without machine guns?  And if they did, was this only against the V1?

 

Also, a squadron can stay operational but not have all of its aircraft or pilots fully operational at the same time.  Again, sorry if I have missed the obvious, but I am struggling to see why we would want a mod option for cannons only for general operations.

 

Thank you very much for all the information and research you chaps have been sharing.  Very good of you. 

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

 

If you read the summary of August 1944 you see that they flew 874 hrs operational and 22 hrs non-operational. So the squadron certainly was operational. The majority were anti-diver and only a "couple of sweeps". To be more specific: the Form 541 shows that sweeps were only flown on August 26th:

  • sweep in the morning with 12 a/c
  • during the day anti-diver patrol with 6 a/c
  • another sweep in the afternoon with 11 aircraft

We know that since August 13th "most of the aircraft (...) have the machine guns removed." and that the .303 were refitted on September 3rd. The purpose of removal clearly was to improve speed and the canons were enough to down the V1s.

 

In theory, its possible that the machine guns were refitted overnight for the 2 sweeps with the exception of the 6 aircraft that were used on the anti-diver patrol (as a total strength of 18 a/c is possible).

 

 

@LukeFF Please have a look at the Form 540 entry of August 14 from 610 Squadron: It mentions an instruction that the anti-diver squadron were only allowed to do sweeps when it was their "turn". So possibly only one squadron was allowed to do sweeps instead of anti-diver patrols on a given day. Would be borning but a nice detail to have that reflected in the career: Lots of anti-diver patrols and sometimes a day of sweeps :)

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

 

Sorry if I have missed something here, but were does it say that aircraft actually flew operationally on combat sorties without machine guns?  And if they did, was this only against the V1?

 

Also, a squadron can stay operational but not have all of its aircraft or pilots fully operational at the same time.  Again, sorry if I have missed the obvious, but I am struggling to see why we would want a mod option for cannons only for general operations.

 

Thank you very much for all the information and research you chaps have been sharing.  Very good of you. 

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

Here's 610 Sqn's  full Operations Record Book for August 1944, sans the last page that I have already posted. The entry for August 8 describes how...

 

Quote

The .303s were being removed from some aircraft and a lot of attention being given to the fit of cowlings, etc.

 

by August 13...

 

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Most of the aircraft now have the machine guns removed. The wings have been fitted with wooden plugs, and a smooth finish being obtained with filler. As an additional aid to gaining the extra off m.p.h, the mirrors have been removed...

 

993546699_610SqnSOEAugust19441.thumb.jpg.4f4144612be15d4b12fea46db66e68f6.jpg1834246406_610SqnSOEAugust19442.thumb.jpg.14ea1faa7cdf279da2fde36b2c509995.jpg1578149248_610SqnSOEAugust19443.thumb.jpg.184fd57c49922f04259a93932f1ce711.jpg

So, yes the ORB shows that 610 Sqn's Spitfire XIVs flew combat operations without the .303s. 610 Sqn were slated to conduct sweeps over the continent, only to have operations canceled due to the weather or because, as already mentioned by 41Sqn_Skipper, ADGB required that stations flying ops against the V-1s were to be used in rotation. I'm checking the ORBs for other Spitfire XIV squadrons, but some were more detailed than others.

866800839_610SqnSOEAugust19444.thumb.jpg.568b9bc9b675ec6e53b8693c2810c337.jpg

Edited by NZTyphoon
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Thanks for explaining the issues regarding the removal of the machine guns Typhoon and Skipper.  I understand now.  Good research!

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

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This is from 130 Sqn's Record of Operations book, October 1944: this was the first month that the unit was re-equipped with .50 armed Spitfire XIVs.

349295085_130SqnORBDec44-Jul4547.thumb.jpg.6f8ac2d10b1b233d27b4e30774605cd1.jpg

 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, NZTyphoon said:

This is from 130 Sqn's Record of Operations book, October 1944: this was the first month that the unit was re-equipped with .50 armed Spitfire XIVs.

349295085_130SqnORBDec44-Jul4547.thumb.jpg.6f8ac2d10b1b233d27b4e30774605cd1.jpg

 

 

 

Worth noting that this document proves Hispano ammunition bays were increased to larger than 120rpg at this point, as seen here:

 

20mm-5in-gun-installation.jpg

 

Topic here: 

 

 

@NZTyphoon do you have any of these sheets for Spit IXe squadrons?

 

EDIT Holy hell, all of 41's ORBs say 280 rounds per plane even with the C wing! This is huge!

Edited by Talon_
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Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2020 at 6:25 AM, Talon_ said:

316 Sqn 1.7.44 in their Mustangs. Didn't 350 Sqn share an airfield with 610 and so therefore a fuel supply?

 

I finally got around to checking this: 350 Squadron flew Spitfire Vs up through 4 July 1944 and then flew Spitfire IXs through August 9th before transitioning to the XIV. So, obviously the earliest they would have had XIVs on +21 lbs boost would have been 10 August 1944. So, the earliest date I still have for the equipping of XIVs with increased boost is mid-July 1944.

Edited by LukeFF

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25 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

 

I finally got around to checking this: 350 Squadron flew Spitfire Vs up through 4 July 1944 and then flew Spitfire IXs through August 9th before transitioning to the XIV. So, obviously the earliest they would have had XIVs on +21 lbs boost would have been 10 August 1944. So, the earliest date I still have for the equipping of XIVs with increased boost is mid-July 1944.

 

IX squadrons were the first, much earlier.

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37 minutes ago, Talon_ said:

IX squadrons were the first, much earlier.

 

Oh yes, I have that covered.

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