The Aircraft

Hawker Hurricane Mk IIa (F-AZXR)

• Hawker Hurricane Mk IIa
• Operator: Jan Friso Roozen
• Year of Manufacture: 1940
• Powered by: RR Merlin Mk35
• Colour Scheme: Battle of France

Built by the Hawker factory at Brooklands, Surrey, England in early 1940, ‘P3351’ was immediately issued as a replacement aircraft on June 1, 1940, to No 73 Squadron then based at Le Mans, France. Flown as part of ‘A’ Flight she undertook defensive patrols over Northern France, covering the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force. On June 18, just after 2.00pm, warning was received of the German approach. The Hurricanes were frantically refueled, some 18 of them taking off for England. This example, ‘P3351’ was one of the last to leave – flown back across the English Channel by Pilot Officer Peter Carter. The Battle of Britain was then imminent. By July 7 ‘P3351’ resumed operations with No 72 Squadron based at Church Fenton (east of Leeds, Yorkshire). On July 19, ‘A’ Flight flew to Prestwick, Scotland for night-flying experience. Later ‘P3351’ was modified to a Mk II configuration and in May ‘41 she was transferred to OTU 55. On March 26 1942, she was dispatched by road to the Scottish port city of Glasgow and was consigned to Russia under Lend-Lease, and then crated for shipping to Murmansk via the dangerous Arctic convoy route.

Large image: Credit Darren Harbar
Small image: Credit Jan Roozen