On the 1st April 1945 RB396 was hit by flak, and force landed behind enemy lines near Denekamp in the Netherlands. On that day she was being flown by Flt Lt Chris House; Frank Johnson, her usual pilot, was not flying “his” aircraft on that day because he himself had been shot down two days earlier in another aircraft. Frank was by this time a PoW.
That RB396 ended her short, but illustrious, combat career then and there, is, ultimately, the reason she survives to this day. Recovered after the war, sold for scrap, never scrapped, and eventually ending up passing through a series of museums, is the somewhat random series of events that ensured that rear fuselage section survived.
In 2016 it formed the basis of the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group, and the identity of the aircraft being rebuilt. Partnering with the Aircraft Restoration Company, Duxford, the rear fuselage section is very nearly complete. When finished, it will be the first section of an airworthy Hawker Typhoon (re)built anywhere in the world since the war. To finish this project and see the aircraft take to the skies as the living, breathing, working and flying memorial that the crews deserve, we need your support.
Now, as momentum gathers around this unique project, on the 78th anniversary of the aircraft’s final flight, is the time to support us in this endeavour.