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1/32nd Revell Hurricane Mk.IIb, 232 Sqn, Kallang, Singapore, February 1942.

Big Tony

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232 Sqn was formed from B Flight of 3 Sqn at Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands in 1940 on Hurricanes for defensive duties but in April 1941 it moved to Ouston and prepared for posting overseas to the Middle East. The unit embarked in November 1941 but while at sea Japan entered the war by attacking Pearl Harbour and Malaya on 7th December 1941 and 232 Sqn was one of the many units to be diverted to Malaya which included two Hurricane units from their convoy, 232 & 258 Sqns. The ground echelon arrived aboard the aircraft transport vessel HMT Sussex along with 51 crated Hurricane Mk.IIb`s in January 1942 (with a further 39 arriving in Java aboard the HMT Athene in February 1942) and 48 more Hurricanes were flown ashore to Singapore from HMS Indomitable. Most of the pilots had never seen combat and yet they were thrust straight into the middle of a fierce battle against a battle hardened Japanese foe who was currently winning. The total confusion and lack of early warning of enemy raids did not help, nor did sabotage of their aircraft on the ground and the Buffalo pilots who had already been fighting over Singapore and Malaya warned them about their opposition, especially the O type or Zero naval fighter and the Ki 43 and Ki 27 Army Fighters which were extremely manoeuvrable and could turn inside a Hurricane.
The RAF fighters were usually scrambled too late or even caught on the ground by incoming raids and losses soon mounted. Within three days 232 Sqn had lost 12 Hurricanes with six pilots killed including the CO. By the end of the first week 20 Hurricane`s had been lost with 15 out of the units 25 pilot either killed, missing or wounded. With the fall of Singapore the survivors were withdrawn to Palembang on Sumatra to fight on and then again to Java where they continued to fight against overwhelming odds until 7th March 1942 when the last two servicable Hurricanes had to be destroyed. Some of the men were lucky enough to be evacuated to Australia or Ceylon but most were captured and had to face the hell of Japanese PoW camps until the end of the war.
On to BE208, coded O,.... (232 Sqn Hurri`s wore single code letter codes, 258 Sqn had no letters applied) this was the aircraft of 232 Sqn`s CO Sqn. Ldr. Arthur Llewellyn who had been a pre war long range pilot and he had the units Dragon Boat insignia applied in front of the windscreen along with his rank pennant. He was killed in a flying accident on the 7th February 1942 in Hurricane Z5482 when the aircraft failed to climb during a hasty scramble against a raid of over 80 Japanese bombers and it flew into the masts of Junks in the harbour, causing it to cartwheel and crash, sadly Llewellyn`s lucky black cat mascot was later found in the crew room where he must have dropped it. Battle of Britain veteran Flt. Lt. Eric `Ricky' Wright DFM (who had flown with 605 Sqn, and claimed 9 victories including 3 shared and 3 probables ) took over command and he was flying the CO`s aircraft, BE208 during another scramble the same day against 27 Japanese Ki 21 bombers with a strong fighter escort of Ki 27`s. During the attack three Hurricane`s were lost and when they returned to base they were jumped by Japanese fighters, said to be Zeros. Ricky Wright was one of those who were hit and he coaxed BE208/O down to a dead stick landing with damaged flaps, through a fence and across a road, ending up in a storm drain. After Singapore fell the Japanese recovered BE208, which had been stripped of much of its fabric rear fuselage by souvenir hunters and they repaired it and put it into service. Ricky Wright was captured by the Japanese in Java but he survived the war and was awarded the DFC in 1945 for his actions over Singapore. He led his men well during their captivity and fought for their rights with the Japanese camp commandant at the Habu Dockyard near to Hiroshima in Japan. He remained in the RAF post war and became an Air Commodore, retiring in 1973.
The model,..... from Revell is an absolute beauty, the only problem I had was with the wing to fuselage joint which needed a section to be cut away, then it fitted well. The cockpit can be gone to town on with etched parts etc but I was happy with it and only added some seat straps made from tape. The model was brush painted and the decals came from DK Decals who I must thank for going along with my idea for some decal sheets for this kit and for including BE208 at my request.
My 1/32nd scale Hurricanes & Sea Hurricanes,.... so far!
For anybody interested in the role of the Hurricane in the air battle over Singapore, this book, `Hurricanes Over Singapore' is highly recommended, it also features BE208 on the cover!
Edited by Big Tony
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1 hour ago, dennismcc said:

Superb build, bringing to light the struggles that the Commonwealth forces face in the early war years in SEA.





Thanks Dennis,..... yes they were brave men thrust into a hopeless situation under poor leadership and as usual working on a shoestring. 



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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/31/2023 at 7:18 PM, reconspit said:

…outstanding and absolutely inspiring job!!!! I quite can’t believe that it’s brush painted! Awesome man…:wub:

Thanks mate,.... yep all hairy brush! 

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On 8/2/2023 at 5:47 AM, Dpgsbody55 said:

Lovely looking model, and an interesting story.  I always like both a Hurricane and the story behind the model.  Very nicely done.  :thumbsup:




Thanks Michael,.... yes i`ve wanted to make a Hurricane model from the Singapore campaign for some time,.... a tragic and little known battle. 

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On 8/2/2023 at 6:58 PM, Kagemusha said:

Another superb model Tony, and the story is humbling, I will be buying the book, that's for the tip!

Thanks mate,..... yep very humbling indeed.

On 8/2/2023 at 10:12 AM, Rocat said:

Great work, and a really interesting story.

Thanks mate. 

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