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Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane

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Hurricane. By: Jay Ashurst, Signed by: W Dennis David

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Hurricane. By: Jay Ashurst, Signed by: W Dennis David

The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although largely overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire, the aircraft became renowned during the Battle of Britain, accounting for 60% of the RAF's air victories in the battle, and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.

One of Great Britain's leading aces, William Dennis David, downed 20 enemy aircraft during the Battles of France and Britain. Commissioned in the Royal Air Force in 1938, the 19-year-old Welshman earned his wings in August. His first post was to Hurricanes with 87 Squadron. As part of the British Expeditionary Force, his squadron deployed to France in September 1939. For the next 7 months, there was virtually no aerial combat. On 10 May 1940, after many weeks of patrol activity, David gained his first aerial victory when he downed a Do-17 bomber and shared credit for an He-111 bomber.

Although the RAF was often outnumbered 10 to 1 during the German blitzkrieg into France, David destroyed at least 14 German aircraft before 87 Squadron withdrew to England on 30 May. During the Battle of Britain, David continued to gain victories, and on 19 October 1940, he downed a Ju-88 bomber for the last of his 20 victories. Following this victory, he was posted to 152 Squadron as a flight commander flying Supermarine Spitfires. During 1941-1943, David flew Hurricanes with operational flying training units, and rose to the rank of wing commander. In July 1943, he was posted to command 89 Squadron, a Beaufighter night-fighter unit.

Based in the Western Desert, his squadron flew intercept and intruder missions. Following action in the Middle East and Mediterranean, 89 Squadron moved to Ceylon in 1944. In the Far East, he participated in the liberation of Burma as Air Corps Liaison Officer to General Sir A.F.P. Christison of the XV Indian Corps. In January 1945, while flying a light liaison aircraft over the key island of Akyab on the Arakan coast, he discovered the Japanese had departed. David landed to confirm his observation and thus earned the title "The RAF officer who captured Akyab." Following the war, he was assigned to the Middle East.

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Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane

Battle of Britain Hawker Hurricane

Hurricane. By: Jay Ashurst, Signed by: W Dennis David

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