History

30th March 1945

While RB396 was still being repaired from the damage of the 28th, Plt Off Frank Johnson continued to fly, today in Typhoon SW495. They took off in a flight of four 174 Squadron Typhoons at 13:40 with Frank flying as

Continue reading...

25th March 1945

The day broke fine and 174 Squadron put up 9 operations of four aircraft each. RB396 and Plt Off Frank Johnson would fly two of them with Sydney Russell-Smith as their wingman. The advance into Germany continued apace with Monty’s

Continue reading...

24th March 1945

While RB396 waited for the dawn, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery’s 21st Army Group (which consisted of the 1st Canadian Army, the 2nd British Army, and the 9th U.S. Army) launched their assault on the Rhine at Wessel. Utilising a 66-mile

Continue reading...

23rd March 1945

With the 21st Army Group poised on the banks of the Rhine, with Operation Plunder a mere 12 hours away, 121 Wing 2TAF were tasked with attacking anti-aircraft positions that were out of range of Second Army’s heavy artillery. 174

Continue reading...

21st March 1945

At long last, the day has come! After multiple practice pack ups at B.80 Goch Frank Johnson notes a 20-minute flight in RB396 stating: “Into Germany at last! We are first wing to operate from German soil.” 121 Wing left

Continue reading...

20th March 1945

174 Squadron’s 121 Wing is informed that they will be the first 2TAF unit to be based in Germany, but there is no respite. Along with 184 Squadron, 174 Squadron put up six Typhoons with RB396 and Frank john flying

Continue reading...

19th March 1945

174 Squadron took off from B.80 at Volkel at 09.50 with Frank Johnson in RB396 flying as Red 4. 174 Squadron were tasked with flying as top cover for 184 Squadron for their Armed Reconnaissance to the Ahus-Haltern area. Both squadrons

Continue reading...

8th-13th March 1945

The weather once again closed in at B.80 Volkel. While this meant that all operations were cancelled, the weather was such that 174 Squadron’s pilots, Plt Off Frank Johnson and RB396 included, could get some time in on the practice

Continue reading...

7th March 1945

174 and 184 Squadrons departed B.80 Volkel at 14:50 for an Armed Reconnaissance to the Borken area, 174 was led by Flt Lt D.C. Nott with Plt Off Frank Johnson and RB396 flying as Yellow 2. They patrolled further into Germany and found

Continue reading...

5th March 1945

The weather closed in at B.80 Volkel. Despite this 174 Squadron, including Plt Off Frank Johnson and RB396, got airborne for an Armed Reconnaissance but had to return after 30 minutes. Frank and RB396 would go up for a practice

Continue reading...

22nd February 1945

After a period of poor weather, Thursday 22nd February 1945 was fine and sunny which meant a busy day for 174 Squadron. RB396 and Plt Off Frank Johnson flew on 174’s first of 5 operations that day, an Armed Reconnaissance to

Continue reading...

15th February 1945

Thursday 15th February found morning mist descending on B.80 at Volkel as the sun rose. This meant that 174 Squadron flew only one sortie in conjunction with 245 Squadron. The target that afternoon was a V2 site. Things didn’t get

Continue reading...

14th February 1945

Valentine’s Day 1945 found 174 Squadron flying two Armed Reconnaissances and a composite mission with 245 Squadron. Plt Off Frank Johnson and RB396 would fly on the two armed recces to Bremen. Departing B.80 at Volkel at 08:20, Frank and RB396

Continue reading...

11th February 1945

With RB396 repaired and signed off after the damaged of the 9th, Plt Off Frank Johnson and RB396 flew on 174 Squadron’s first armed recce of the day. 174 Squadron put up eight aircraft and at 09:05 were airborne for

Continue reading...

10th February 1945

Following the damage to RB396, Plt Off Frank Johnson took RB396 up for a 20 minute Air Test. The aircraft was signed off and ready to return to the fray, as she would be on the 11th February.

Continue reading...

9th February 1945

According to Plt Off Frank Johnson’s logbook, Friday the 9th February 1945 was eventful. 174 Squadron’s ORB does not record RB396 and Plt Off Johnson flying on the sortie recorded, but it is possible that they flew the weather reconnaissance.

Continue reading...

3rd February 1945

Saturday, 3rd February 1945 would be a busy day for RB396 and Plt Off Frank Johnson with two Armed Reconnaissance sorties to Osnabrück, Germany. Departing B.80 at Volkel at 10:50, RB396 and Plt Off Johnson flew as Yellow 2 to

Continue reading...

2nd February 1945

A fair February afternoon saw RB396 and Plt Off Frank Johnson in action with an Armed Reconnaissance to Venlo on the Dutch/German border. The eight Typhoons of 174 Squadron, with RB396 flying as Green 1, arrived over Venlo in between

Continue reading...

28th January 1945

Sunday 28th January 1945 saw improved weather, but very low temperatures. 174 Squadron again flew two operations in the afternoon and evening with RB396 and Plt Off Frank Johnson departing B.80 at Volkel for an Armed Reconosance in the Munster

Continue reading...

24th January 1945

The weather at B.80 Volkel was a tad questionable on Wednesday 24th January 1945. 174 Squadron put up two operations, one of which helped the Army take a village that had been causing trouble. For RB396 and Plt Off Frank

Continue reading...

23rd January 1945

Tuesday 23rd January 1945 dawned fine and clear. RB396 and Plt Off Frank Johnson flew as RED 2 to 174 Squadron CO Sqn Ldr D.T.N. Kelly for the second day running. The target for the day was gun positions near Dremmen,

Continue reading...

22nd January 1945

Monday 22nd January 1945 saw improved weather and 174 Squadron put up 3 operations. The second of these saw Plt Off Frank Johnson and RB396 take off from B.80 at Vokel flying as RED 2 to the Boss, Sqn Ldr D.T.N.

Continue reading...

13th January 1945

On the 13th January, Pilot Officer Frank Johnson RCAF took RB396 up for some local flying and practice around B.80 at Volkel, south-west of Nijmegen. The 55-minute flight is the first record we have of Frank flying what he would

Continue reading...

12th December 1944

The TV historian and author James Holland invited the project to be part of a Q&A on stage at the Chalke Valley History Festival in 2018, ahead of the large scale Typhoon on the hilltop in 2019. This Q&A featured

Continue reading...

9th December 1944

All new aircraft were delivered from the factory and Maintenance Units by the pilots of the Air Transport Auxilary. This civilian organisation, under the Ministry of Aircraft Production, delivering over 309,000 aircraft of 147 types. On the 9th December 1944,

Continue reading...

16th November 1944

All new aircraft completed a series of acceptance tests by an active RAF pilot before being accepted by the RAF. After baling out of Typhoon MN527 ‘X’ on the 3rd July 1944 and evading capture with the help of French

Continue reading...