Oxford 1/72 87 Sqn S/L Ian Gleed Colerne 1941 Hawker Hurricane Ac105

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Oxford 1/72 87 Sqn S/L Ian Gleed Colerne 1941 Hawker Hurricane Ac105

A diminutive World War II fighter ace, a small but strategically placed RAF base in the quiet Wiltshire countryside and the valiant Hurricane MkI nightfighter are the background to this latest Oxford introduction on the Hawker Hurricane as it was deployed in 1941.

Ian Gleed, nicknamed Widge by his friends because of his small stature (5′ 6 inches) and his favourite adjective ‘Wizard’, was born in 1916 in Finchley and educated at Epsom College. He learned to fly as a civilian and then joined the RAF where after officer training he was posted to 266 Squadron as a flight commander, flying Spitfires.

 

Then in May 1940, he was posted to 87 Squadron, a Hurricane Squadron serving in France where, after a record number of enemy kills, he earned the reputation as being the fastest RAF pilot to make ace – in only two days. 87 Squadron was evacuated back to Britain in May 1940 to a Fighter Command air base in the West Country.

 

From there the squadron took part in the Battle of Britain, flying Hurricane Mk I nightfighters to defend Bristol and Exeter. Gleed’s success earned him promotion to squadron leader, taking command of RAF Charmy Down just north of Bath. His squadron spent a few months in 1941 at RAF Colerne, which was a satellite airfield for RAF Middle Wallop with squadrons flying back and forth on a daily basis. Due to the blackout, all attacks had to be made with the aid of searchlights into the sky.

Additional information

Weight 0.10 kg
Dimensions 10.00 × 10.00 × 10.00 cm