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View Diary: A fiercer storm – the Hawker Tempest II, Royal Air Force Museum, London (23 comments)

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  •  Read Pierre Clostermann's fabulous book... (8+ / 0-)


    A Free-French pilot who became an ace flying British fighters, Clostermann finished the war flying Tempests. One of the best memoirs about fighter combat in WWII, it includes an incredible account of engaging German jets with the Tempest in 1945. His diving Tempest actually overtook a jet (an Arado bomber?), but he was unable to engage it due to the extreme speed.

    Even more poignant is Clostermann's account of a catastrophic mid-air collision between Tempests during a demonstration flight after the end of hostilities; the pilots all sound like 'lost soul' PTSD victims.

    •  I have a copy of 'The Big Show', also his... (5+ / 0-)

      ...'Flames in the Sky'. Both are excellent books.

      The catastrophic collision you mention came during a victory flypast, and Clostermann was one of the few survivors.

      One thing to remember. Clostermann's 'Vieux Charles', and all the other Tempests in the book, were Mk V's. This was the only version to see wartime service. The Mk V was powered by the Napier Sabre engine, not the magnificent Bristol Centaurus, as seen here.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:21:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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