This beautiful photographs depicts the Mosquito NF Mk II RX - X ( DD739 ) of No. 456 Squadron, R.A.A.F., flying through the clouds between 1942 and 1943.
Today, we offer for sale this beautiful photograph of a de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito NF Mark II of No. 456 Squadron, R.A.A.F. The unit was a Royal Australian Air Force ( R.A.A.F. ) Night Fighter Squadron, operational over Europe during the Second World War. Formed on June 30th, 1941 at R.A.F. Valley ( Isle of Anglesey, Wales ), it was the R.A.A.F.'s only Night Fighter Squadron.
Throughout the war, the " Four - Five - Six " was equipped with Boulton Paul Defiant, Bristol Beaufighters, Bristol Blenheims, Bristol Beaufighters again and de Havilland Mosquitoes. At the end of the war, its crews were credited with shooting down 71 aircraft, including 29 V - 1 flying bombs. The Squadron was disbanded on June 15th, 1945 at R.A.F. Bradwell Bay ( Essex, England ).
The aircraft depicted here is the RX - X ( DD739 ). This photograph has been taken between December 1942 and December 1943, when the Squadron was stationed at R.A.F. Fairwood Common ( Glamorgan, Wales ). A bit hidden behind the starboard engine, there is roundel painted on the crew entry door, featuring a red kangaroo in a blue circle. The " Four - Five - Six " was the first R.A.A.F. unit to use this insignia, which will inspire the post - war roundel used by the R.A.A.F.
On the night of December 4th, 1943, RX - X, operated by Pilot Officer ( P/O ) John Leonard May ( Pilot, R.A.A.F., 412992 ) and Flying Officer ( F/O ) Leslie Rupert Parnell ( Navigator, R.A.A.F., 411178 ), took off at 00:49 a.m. from R.A.F. Bradwell Bay ( Essex, England ), on a " Mahmoud "* operation. The aircraft was engaged to support bombers detailed to attack a target at Leipzig ( present - day Saxony, Germany )*. RX - X's estimated arrival time at base was 06:30 a.m., but nothing was heard from the aircraft and it failed to return. Indeed, at 03:35 a.m., the " Mossie " was shot down by Schipol " Flak ", and crashed in Het Amsterdamse Bos near Amstelveen ( North Holland, the Netherlands ). The crew was buried at De Nieuwe Ooster ( Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, North Holland ).
* Sorties flown by de Havilland Mosquitoes equipped with rear - facing radar ; when an enemy aircraft was detected a 180° turn enabled an attack.
* Another source mentions Kassel ( present - day Hesse, Germany ) and Berlin ( Germany ) instead.
( sources : Wikipedia, aviation-safety.net, www.airhistory.org.uk, aviationmuseumwa.org.au, www.zzairwar.nl )