The Mosquito at Hendon (2)

Last time, I wrote about the De Havilland Mosquito at the RAF Museum at Hendon. This individual is painted as a Mosquito B.35, TJ138, in 98 Squadron markings, reflecting the squadron’s time spent at Celle in Lower Saxony, flying Mosquitoes during the occupation of West Germany from 1945-1951:

The squadron badge is Cerberus, the 3 Headed guardian of Hell because, quoting the RAF website:

“This squadron claims to have barred the way (front and rear) during the German retreat in 1918 and so considered Cerberus, as the watchdog of Hades, a suitable badge.”

I don’t understand that to be honest, but if the RAF are happy with it, then so am I.

And I’ve never known what that ridge along the fuselage was for:

Such slim, sleek lines:

A bit closer. You can see why Mosquito crews had to be careful of these propellers. They are so close to the fuselage:

Here’s the bomb bay:

And even closer up:

The Mosquito was capable of carrying 4,000 lbs of bombs. Best of all, it had an uninterrupted bomb bay, with no struts or barriers to prevent the aircraft from carrying a 4,000lb Cookie. That meant that two Mosquitoes and the four men in them could carry the same as a B-17 with 10 men. A Lancaster carried 14,000lb with 7 men, the only heavy bomber capable of outdoing the Mosquito in this kind of contest.

Here’s one of the two very powerful Merlin engines. Behind it, something so modern and so boring that nobody would want to fly it:

Did you spot the mystery item behind the Mosquito on the left? My guess is that it is part of the lighting system or perhaps a flying Stealth Lawnmower invisible to radar.

Here’s where the bombardier sat. The next time you watch “633 Squadron”, notice how the inaccurate swines have painted over the Perspex in a vain effort to disguise a bomber pure and simple as a fighter bomber with four cannons:

It’s so shocking and so obvious when you look at it:

One thing you can be sure of though. This particular Mosquito was not in “633 Squadron”, surely the only flying Mosquito in the world that was not used. Perhaps it was an economy measure. The owners of all those different Mosquitoes did charge a whopping £2 a day to rent one.

The last photograph shows two people (not with me) and three other aircraft. One is Japanese and if it’s not a Kawasaki Ki 100 then I don’t know what it is. The World War I aircraft top right, I really don’t know what that is, either. I’ve just forgotten. Perhaps an SE5?

The aircraft on the left has the distinctive tail of the Fokker DVII and guess what? It is one!


A note to say that my hand is now capable of a little light typing so I have managed to catch up on my replies to all the kind comments you made on my previous six blog posts. From now on, it should be back to normal, although I am well aware that operations go in pairs, and it will only be a matter of time until the right hand needs a full service.



Filed under Aviation, Bomber Command, Canada, History

30 responses to “The Mosquito at Hendon (2)

  1. A beautiful aircraft for sure but you have spoilt 633 Squadron for me! Interesting that 633 Squadron only has a crew of two. However, Google Airfix Mosquito and you will see that even they removed the bomb aimers forward turret and replaced it with cannons! Not always though so I checked Wikipedia and it seems that some Mosquitoes did indeed have cannon instead of a turret.

    • I do apologise! I was genuinely shocked that it only cost £2 a day to rent a Mosquito. If our school had cut a deal with the pilots, we could have had our school prizes distributed, not by some crusty old geezer of huge importance in the world of politics, but instead, by low level Mosquito bombers, flipping them in through the classroom windows.

  2. So pleased to see you back writing, John

  3. Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed the post – you do not need to bother yourself with replying. [let the hand heal]

  4. Pierre Lagacé

    The German fighter plane is a Fokker Eindecker…

  5. Really beautiful photos John. Makes me want to rush out and buy a 1/24th scale Airfix Mosquito! I hope your hand is healing – great to see you back.

  6. atcDave

    That Japanese fighter is definitely a Ki-100, with the early type canopy.
    I believe the ridge on the Mosquito’s fuselage is just for strengthening/stiffening. I’d have to check sources to be sure, but I know they had some issues with structural strength, especially with longer serving Mosquitos, and a variety of fixes were tried.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures!

    • atcDave

      Later canopy, I meant LATER canopy. Doh!

      • Thank you very much for your accuracy! It’s funny how you can go round a museum and carefully look at every single exhibit and two years later, it’s all melted away. Old age, I suppose!

      • atcDave

        I’m sure there’s a joke there about finally being able to do all the things you want, but not being able to… something or other….
        Just counting the days to retirement now.

        My advice is not to waste the time before retirement. As an about-to-retire teacher, I was paid to go on a day course about retirement and it was really useful, with tips about how to avoid boredom, how to spend your time and a good few legal and financial matters. Also how to avoid aggravating your wife so much that you’re divorced 18 months after retiring! This is a lot more frequent than you might think apparently! You can also start up a new hobby to make sure that you like it. That saves a lot of wasted time! John

  7. 633 squadron was sadly responsible for the destruction of perfectly good mossies. As a film goes it perhaps ‘killed’ more RAF aircraft than the Luftwaffe did! Between you and me, I think it was a lawnmower, those blades are quite distinct!

    • I did not realise that any aircraft were harmed in the making of the film. That’s a great pity. I did read that right at the end of the war, aircraft in Canada were sold off so cheaply, that farmers bought them to use the fuel in their tanks and then discarded the actual aircraft. Those were the days!

      • I’ve heard many stories of mossies being stripped and burnt just to get rid of them. With a little more foresight we could have a had a fabulous little flying museum full of classics warbirds – sadly it’s not to be!

      • I’ve heard many stories of mossies being stripped and burnt just to get rid of them. With a little more foresight we could have had a great little flying museum full of warbirds – sadly it’s not to be!

  8. Dear Sir, good to read that your hand is better, but please do not strain it. We like your posts very much and I have come to know so many new things. Isn’t it sad that humans have always found and finding means to kill each other ? Regards, Lakshmi

    • Thank you so much for your concern. My hand is not slow to tell me that I am straining it if I ever do! You are right about human beings. So many find it so easy to hate other people, probably because deep down they fear them. That is why Word Press is doing such a good job across the world, allowing us all to talk about our lives.

  9. I think the RAF plane in the picture is a Camel (based on tail shape and position of the fuselage serial number and comparison to the website –

  10. I’m thinking it’s a JDAM essentially air to ground missile but let me know? Can’t help with the other planes. I’ve been to Hendon and really enjoyed your post. A few changes since I was there but I’m sure I saw the same Mosquito. Such good looking planes.

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