Personnel of No. 53 Repair and Salvage Unit use a Coles Crane to haul the fuselage of damaged Hawker Hurricane Mark IIB, “R”, of No. 73 Squadron RAF onto a Queen Mary trailer in the Western Desert, likely
Pilots of No 73 Squadron RAF stage a mock scramble at RAF Digby in 1939 shortly before moving to Octeville on 9 September and to Rouvres a month later. Identified third left is P/O Peter V "Decoy" Ayerst, who joined B Flight under F/L John E "Ian" Scoular 4 weeks previously, aged 18, with F/O Edgar J "Cobber" Kain as his section leader. He had been inside a Hawker cockpit only 3 times, and as he said himself had "bugger-all experience", before being pitched into operational flying in France.
Within 4 hours of arrival at RAF Debden with No 73 Squadron RAF on 5 September 1940, F/L Reginald E "Reg" Lovett was pressed into action to reinforce No 11 Group, which had been taking the brunt of the Luftwaffe attacks on the south of England. In combat over Burnham, the 26-year-old A Flight leader was shot up in Hurricane Mk I TP-H on 5 September and bailed out, unhurt. He was killed in combat in TP-E near Billericay 2 days later, with 3 destroyed, 1 probable and 1 and 1 shared damaged.
Hurricane Mk I TP-Z is examined by German army officers after it was removed from farm buildings near Dormans, into which P/O Ian D Hawken of No 73 Squadron RAF crashed at 14.20hrs during a patrol from Échemines on 3 June 1940. The 24-year-old pilot was killed in combat near Épernay, during which P/O Hugh W "Chubby" Eliot claimed an Me 110 southwest of Rheims at 14.00hrs and F/L Charles WK "Doug" Nicholls and Sgt Alfred E "Alf" Scott another probably shared near Sainte-Marie-Chevigny.
Sgt Alexander L "Alex" McNay of No 73 Squadron RAF shows off trophies from Ju 88A-5 4D+KL of KG30, while F/L Reginald E "Reg" Lovett and Sgt John J Brimble (left to right) look on from A Flight dispersal hut at RAF Church Fenton in 1940. The bomber was among a brace caught out by the 22-year-old Scotsman near Bridlington on a raid to bomb RAF Driffield on 15 August, coming down at Hamilton Hill Farm, Barmston. After combat over Burnham on 5 September, he failed to return in Hurricane Mk I…
RAF Fighter Command's first aces of the war, F/O Newell "Fanny" Orton (left) and F/O Edgar J "Cobber" Kain of No 73 Squadron RAF pose with Hurricane Mk I PADDYIII between sorties at Rouvres in May 1940. Kain celebrated acedom in true RAF fashion on 26 March 1940, horizontally on a stretcher in the sergeants mess. Orton passed the 5 mark on 21 April. Orton left France with at least 15 victories and Kain with 17.
Pictured as DOG FIGHTERS in RAeC's Flight of 21 March 1940, F/O Edgar J "Cobber" Kain appears to the right of Sgt Donald A Sewell as another unnamed pilot of No 73 Squadron RAF at Rouvres in 1940. The combat mentioned refers to his third victory on the afternoon of 2 March, when fighting an action with 2 Me 109 fighters of JG53, claiming one near Saarbrücken, while the second stooped his engine with a cannon shell leaving the 21-year-old New Zealander to glide 30m from 20,000ft to reach…