198 SQUADRON NOTES 2
198's LAST SORTIE
According to the Squadron's Operations Record Book (ORB), and several authors, 198 flew its last operational sortie of World War 2 on the 3rd May 1945, however this is not quite correct. 198's actual last sortie took place the following day (May 4th) when eight of its aircraft were flown from B103 Plantlunne to B150, (Hustedt) near Celle, Germany, for an operation against shipping in the Baltic which lasted nearly an hour.
AUSTERS AND A SPARE TYPHOON
During 1944/1945 a least two Austers were used to ferry pilots around, these carried 198's Squadron code letters TP. Also in 1945 the Squadron had a spare Typhoon which was used on several missions to collect or deliver small items and this aircraft had the registration of TP-?. (Meaning it had a question mark in place of the usual individual aircraft letter).
TIGER MOTHS WITH 198
Among all the Hawker Typhoons in service with 198 up to the time of the D Day Landings notable are two other aircraft types, these were three Tiger Moths and a Hawker Hurricane. The Tiger Moths were mainly used for ferrying duties, their serial numbers being: DE765 which crashed into the English Channel following engine failure on 5th September 1943 killing its pilot, F/O J. L. Darby RCAF, - T7271 which spun into the ground at Digby on 21st Janauary 1943 injuring its pilot, Sgt Hanlon, and passenger, P/O Baker, - DE779 which disappears from Squadron records in December 1943. DE765 delivered to 198 on 31st January 1943 - T7271 delivered 8th December 1942, and DE779 on 29th September 1943. The Hawker Hurricane, serial number and Squadron markings currently not known, was used for training flights.
AIRCRAFT RB222 (TP.F)
For some unknown reason over the years the Hawker Typhoon serial number RB222 has been associated with an aircraft supposedly flown by 198 Squadron during August 1944 as TP.F. Frequent references can be found in paintings, model kits, and publications as if to confirm this, however this website can find no record of the aircraft ever serving with 198. According to our information RB222 was one of 255 Hawker Typhoons delivered to the RAF between September 1944 and January 1945 and was flown by 183 Squadron RAF as HF.K.
RED SQUADRON CODE LETTERS, JULY/AUGUST 1944
This website can find no evidence to support the claim that 198 Squadron RAF used red code letters on its aircraft for a few weeks sometime over July/August 1944. 198's Commanding Officer at the time of these claimed changes was Sqn/Ldr Y. Ezanno (June 1944 to October 1944) and he was asked many years ago by the Director of the Bayeux Museum, in Normandy, France, if the colour had been changed to red and he is quoted as replying with a definite "NO".
Sqn/Ldr Ezanno was subsequently killed in a motoring accident during 1996 but since then this website has twice approached surviving 198 Squadron veterans and asked the same question. With slight variations those asked came back with either "no recollection of any red code letters during July/August 1944" or more specifically recalled the code letters as being of varying shades between "dirty white" and "greyish" in colour during the time in question.
AIRCRAFT MN175 (TP.U)
August 29th, 2004. We have received reports regarding the dig by French historian Laurent Viton for the remains of 198's MN175. Laurent informs us that the Sabre engine was found in a burnt state and the supercharger was missing. No sign of the aircraft's three propellor blades were discovered but pieces of armour plating were found as was part of the rocket launching rails plus three of the aircraft's four 20mm cannon, two from the port wing and one from the inner starboard which quickly became subject to a French Authority order to destroy them on safety grounds. The excavation was widely covered by French TV and local newspapers to coincide with the 60th anniversary of French Liberation Day. (MN175's pilot, Flt/Sgt Edward Bartley RAFVR, was killed on only his forth operational sortie with the squadron, having joined it nine days earlier.)