Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 3: Hawker Typhoon and Hawker Tempest

Hawker Typhoon and Hawker Tempest

Data current to 4 March 2021.

(IWM Photo, MH 6864)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB (Serial No. RB402), coded 5V-P, of No. 439 Squadron, RCAF, landing at airfield B100, Goch, Germany, ca. 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CL 157)

Ground crews loading 3-inch rocket projectiles onto Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB (Serial No. MN317), coded ZY-B, of No. 247 Squadron, RAF at airfield B2/Bazenville, Normandy.

The Hawker Typhoon (Tiffy in RAF slang) is a British single-seat fighter-bomber.  It was intended to be a medium-high altitude interceptor, as a replacement for the Hawker Hurricane, but several design problems were encountered and it never completely satisfied this requirement.

When the Typhoon was first put into service in mid-1941, it was plagued with problems and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future.  When the Luftwaffe brought the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service in 1941, the Typhoon was the only RAF fighter capable of catching it at low altitudes.  As a result, it gained a new role as a low-altitude interceptor.

The Typhoon served as a night intruder and long-range fighter.  From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs and from late 1943 it was armed with RP-3 rockets and four 20-mm Hispano autocannons.  The Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft.

 (RCAF Photo via Francois Dutil)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IBs, No 143 Wing, RCAF, taxiing at B78/Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1945.

 (IWM Photo, CL 1961)

Hawker Typhoon Mark IB of No. 439 Squadron, RCAF, taxies through a water splash at B78/Eindhoven, Holland, while leaving its dispersal loaded with two 1,000-lb bombs for an attack on a rail target behind the German lines.

 (IWM Photo, CL 1959)

Armourers attach the nose and tail units onto a cluster projectile containing 26 x 20-lb anti-personnel bombs, fitted under the wing of a Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB of No. 439 Squadron, RCAF, at B78/Eindhoven, Holland, ca fall 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002575)

Hawker Typhoon, Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, and North American Mustang Mk. I aircraft at an Allied mobile repair section, Normandy 25 June 1944. 

When the Campaign of Normandy was over, fighter units moved up their bases to remain close to the front.  Their role did not change much as the Allies moved ahead slowly through North-Western Europe: support to the ground forces, bomber escort missions, attacking bridges, canals and enemy vehicles, road and rail convoys.  The Luftwaffe, as weakened as it was, put up a bitter resistance as the Allies came closer to Germany.  It still had a secret weapon, the Messerschmitt Me 262, the first jet-propelled fighter plane.  Much faster than the British Spitfire, it came in too late to change the course of the war.

 (IWM Photo, TR 1091)

Hawker Typhoon Mark IB, RAF (Serial No. EK139), HH-N, Dirty Dora, of No 175 Squadron, RAF, Colerne, UK, 1 May 1943. 

(IWM Photo, CH11578)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, No. 486 Squadron, 27 Oct 1943.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002572)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, coded F3-P, No, 438 Squadron, RCAF, Normandy 1944.  No. 438 Squadron was formed in Canada as No. 118 (Fighter) Squadron on 13 January 1941.  This unit was the first of six home squadrons transferred overseas (complete in personnel but without aircraft) in preparation for the Allied invasion of Europe, and was redesignated No. 438 (Fighter Bomber) Squadron at Digby, Lincolnshire, England on 18 November 1943.  It flew Hawker Typhoons during the pre-invasion softening up of the German defences and, after D-Day, gave close support to ground forces by dive-bombing and strafing enemy strong points, bridges, rail and road traffic.  The squadron was disbanded at Flensburg, Germany on 26 August 1945.

 (DND Photo)

The three Canadian Hawker Typhoon squadrons attend mass at airfield B9, Lantheuil, France, on Sunday, 13 August 1944. RCAF No. 143 Wing Padre, Squadron Leader Hebert Ashford, MBE, presiding.

 (No. 438 Squadron Archives Photo, via Francois Dutil)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, coded F3-B, No, 438 Squadron, RCAF, flown by Squadron Leader Jack Beirnes, Squadron CO, taxiing at an airfield in Normandy in 1944.  The Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB was flown by No. 438 Squadron from Jan 1944 to Aug 1945.  Representative aircraft included Serial No. DN619, coded G, EK383, coded N, EK481, coded H, JR135, coded J, MM959m coded B, MN283, coded L. MN345, coded D, MN375, coded W, MN398, coded A, MN424, coded S, MN547, coded Q, MN626, coded A, MN758, coded M, RB391c coded Y, RB407, coded T, SW398, coded E, and SW414, coded G.

 (No. 438 Squadron Archives Photo, via Francois Dutil)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IBs, No. 438 Squadron, preparing for take-off.

 (IWM Photo, CH 9289)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB (Serial No. R8884), coded HF-L, No. 183 Squadron RAF, with Flight Lieutenant Walter Dring, commander of B Flight, in a dispersal at Gatwick, Sussex, UK, c1944.

 (IWM Photo, CH 9822)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB (Serial No. DN604), coded PR-F, "Mavis", of No. 609 Squadron, RAF, on the ground at Manston, Kent.  The aircraft displays a score tally of 18 locomotives destroyed in ground attacks on the fuselage side.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4948357)

An airman with a Canadian motorcycle along with a group of No. 52 Medical Field Hospital personnel and a 2nd Tactical Air Force Jeep, No. 83 Group, RAF, at the RAF's B-100 airfield in Germany, ca March 1945.

After the Normandy landings in June 1944, the Allies advanced towards Germany.  To support the progress of the ground forces, the RAF and RCAF, had to keep up with them and control the airspace.  To do this, the RAF needed airfields and runways.  The first Royal Air Force airfield in Germany, 'B-100 Goch', was established in February/March of 1945, south of Weeze. The runway consisted of perforated steel plates with a length of 1,080 meters.  There was an emergency landing runway and, diagonally opposite, a 900-meter-long green belt for transport aircraft.

The first unit to fly from the airfield was 662 (Auster) Squadron, who remained at the airfield until 24 March. They were followed by the British No. 121 (Typhoon) Wing on 20 March, and then ten days later Canadian No. 143 (FB) Wing joined them. 

British and Canadian units carried out air attacks on German forces east of the Rhine with Spitfires and Typhoons from the 4th of March 1945.  No. 143 (FB) Wing operated from B.100 at Goch, Germany from the 29th of March through to the 8th of April, 1945.  The Hawker Typhoons of No. 121 Wing were exchanged for the Spitfires of Canadian No. 127 Wing by mid-April, but by the end of that month all Wings had left.  In late April, after the successful conquest of the Ruhr area, the army moved on and military aircraft were moved from B-100 to several areas in the north of Germany.  B-100 was then abandoned.

 (RAF Photo)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB (Serial No. EK183), coded US-A, No. 56 Squadron, RAF Matlaske, Norfolk, 21 April 1943.

(RCAF Photo)

Hawker Typhoon. 

(RCAF Photo)

Hawker Typhoon. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL-42817)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, RCAF (Serial No. RB389), coded 18-P, "Pulverizer IV", No. 440 Squadron RCAF, with bomb load, Goch, Germany, ca. 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607564)

Hawker Typhoons, RCAF, ca 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CL 1598)

Hawker Typhoon, coded 18-R, No. 440 Squadron, RCAF, armourers bringing ammunition service, the Netherlands, late 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CL 3810)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, (Serial No. MN659), coded I8-E, No. 440 Squadron RCAF, which suffered a collapsed undercarriage on landing after a sortie.  Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CL 652)

Airmen of No. 419 Repair and Salvage Unit, aided by an AEC mobile crane, remove damaged Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB (Serial No. MN413), coded I8-T, of No. 440 Squadron, RCAF, from the landing strip, following a wheels-up landing at B9/Lantheuil, Normandy, on 1 Aug 1944.

 (No. 438 Squadron Archives Photo, via Francois Dutil)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, (Serial No. MN816), No. 438 Squadron, RCAF, Airfield B78, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1944.

 (No. 438 Squadron Archives Photo, via Francois Dutil)

Pilots of 438 Squadron RCAF on 7 August 1944 taken at B9 Lantheuil France. Aircraft is a sqn Hawker Typhoon. Pilots are back row left to right: Fox, Lambros, Skelly, Morrison, Newsome, Coffey, Dawber, Uhthoff, Vickers, Banting, Upham, Macklem, Beaty, Sharpe, Brooker. Sitting front row left to right: McMann, (Doc?), Reid, Beirnes, Burden, Bangs (adj), Washburn.

 (IWM Photo, CH 12255)

Pilots of No. 245 Squadron, RAF, walking past their Hawker Typhoon Mk. IBs, to their dispersal hut at Westhampnett, Sussex, UK, on completion of a sortie against a flying-bomb launching northern France (Noball).  Three of the Typhoons wear cowling covers with 'chimneys' for the insertion of a heater, in order to aid the engine start.  In the background is a Hawker Hurricane, used by the Squadron as a communications and training aircraft.

(Library & Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233241)

Hawker Typhoon rocket arrangement being inspected by Canadians. 

 (fw190a8 Photo)

Hawker Typhoon cockpit instrumentation.

 (Author Photo)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, (Serial No. MN235) on loan to the Canada Air and Space Museum in Ottawa from the RAF Museum in England.  It has been retured to the RAF Museum Cosford in the UK.  This aircraft was originally used by the USAAF for evaluation and Comparison trials.  Post war it was allocated to the NMUSAF.  It was in storage with the Smithsonian Institute before returning to England in 1968.  This aircraft is now back in the UK with the RAF Museum.

 ( Typhoon Legacy Photo)

Hawker Typhoon Mk. IB, (Serial No. JP843) is being restored in Canada by Typhoon Legacy Ltd., at their facility in British Columbia.  Their aim is to return a Hawker Typhoon to the skies.  The project is being constructed using surviving parts, factory drawings, and highly accurate reverse engineering practices to bring the aircraft back to its former glory.  It is their goal to see JP843 fly with the mighty Napier Sabre engine, and they are investing heavily in their work to make this happen.

The restoration/rebuild of JP843 is the passion of all members involved, and our team of eleven highly experienced aerospace and design professionals are volunteering their time and expertise to see this through to flight.  Typhoon Legacy Co. Ltd. Team.

JP843 was originally fitted with the “Car Door” canopy, faired cannons and early exhaust fairings.  From 51 MU, Lichfield, UK, JP843 was delivered to No. 197 Squadron, RAF Tangmere, UK, on 22 Sept 1943.  In Dec 1943, the operational records book reports JP843 was coded OV-T.

On 3 Jan 1944, JP843 was flown by Flying Officer K.J. Harding on a Rhubarb to Yvrench with three other Typhoons, each armed with 2 X 250 lb bombs.  Harding became separated from the others in the target area and, returning alone, was intercepted by 4 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s which he managed to outrun despite sustaining two hits.  The Category B damage JP843 sustained was repaired, and the aircraft was back in operations by 11 Jan 1944.

In Feb 1944, the Squadron received a number of new Typhoons, each fitted with sliding hoods and RP mods.  It would appear that JP843 was sidelined for a short period before being sent to 13 MU on 22 Feb 1944, and then to Gloster on 25 April 1944.  It is likely that both of these moves involved JP843 receiving canopy and RP modifications.  On its return from Gloster, JP843 was reported as being based at 83 GSU, Redhill, on 8 June 1944, and allocated to No. 609 Squadron.

JP843 does not appear in No. 609 Squadron's Operational Record Book for June 1944, but it does appear briefly with No. 198 Squadron, coded K, when it is reported returning with engine trouble.  JP843 may have been borrowed from No. 609 by No. 198 during the hectic month of June 1944, but does return to No. 609 between 8 July and 27 July 1944.  JP843 was lost during operations along with P/O Price on 27 July 1944.  (Typhoon Legacy Company Ltd.)

 (Urban Photo)

Hawker Typhoon replica, Memorial de la Paix, Caen, France.  On 9 June 1994, in recognition of the aircraft and crew's role in the liberation of Normandy, a Typhoon memorial was dedicated by Major M. Roland Heudier at Noyers-Bocage, France. Also present at the ceremony were General Yves Paul Ezanno DFCand bar and Squadron Leader Denis Sweeting, both former Squadron Leaders of No. 198 Squadron, RAF.

 (SDA&SM Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. V (Serial No. JN802).

Hawker Tempest Mk. V (1), (Serial No. NV999).  Single-seat RAF fighter with Sabre V engine (2,340 hp), 142 built.  One was flown in Canada by the RCAF for cold weather testing.

 (IWM Photo, HU 2173)

Hawker Tempest Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. EJ743).

The Hawker Tempest was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, intended to address the Typhoon's unexpected deterioration in performance at high altitude by replacing its wing with a thinner laminar flow design.  Since it had diverged considerably from the Typhoon, it was renamed Tempest.  The Tempest emerged as one of the most powerful fighters of the Second World War and was the fastest single-engine propeller-driven aircraft of the war at low altitude.

Upon entering service in 1944, the Tempest was used as a low-level interceptor, particularly against the V-1 flying bomb threat, and as a ground attack platform, in which it supported major events such as Operation Market Garden.  Later, it successfully targeted the rail infrastructure in Germany and Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground, as well as countering such attacks by German fighters.  The Tempest was effective in the low-level interception role, including against newly developed aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Me 262.

The further-developed Tempest II did not enter service until after the end of hostilities.  It had several improvements, including being tropicalised for combat against Japan.

   (RAF Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. SN219).

 (RAF Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. EJ713). 

(RAF Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. NV696), test flight, Nov 1944. 

 (IWM Photo, MH 6860)

Hawker Tempest Mk. V, RAF (Serial No. EJ705), coded W2-X, No. 80 Squadron RAF, on a dispersal at an airfield in Holland, late in 1944

 (IWM Photo, ATP 14599C)

Hawker Tempest Mk. VI, RAF (Serial No. NX201)

 (Author Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. II (Serial No. LA607), Reg. No. N607LA, HF-T.  Fantasy of Flight, Kermit Weeks Collection, 1400 Broadway Boulevard, S.E. Polk City, Florida.

 (Author Photo)

Hawker Tempest Mk. II (Serial No. LA607), Reg. No. N607LA, HF-T.  Fantasy of Flight, Kermit Weeks Collection, 1400 Broadway Boulevard, S.E. Polk City, Florida.