Between June 1943 and May 1945, one Mosquito B. Mk. IX emerged on VE Day as the survivor of 213 sorties over occupied Europe: more operations than any other allied bomber during the Second World War. A celebrity in her own right LR503, or F for Freddie as she became affectionately known, served with distinction with 105 Squadron.
The article is reproduced here with kind permission from our affiliate partner The Calgary Mosquito Society. Special thanks to Richard de Boer, who spent many years carefully researching the story of both F/Lt Briggs and F/O Baker, as well as this most famous of wartime Mosquitoes.
A restoration update from Calgary
Work continues apace in Calgary on the restoration of the former Spartan Air Service PR.35 Mosquito, RS700.
As Richard explains, the team is excited to be finally adding wood back on the fuselage after spending the past three years dealing with structural issues on the upper-mid fuselage area. In mid-September the team was gluing new balsa to the inner skin on the port side of the mid fuselage and hope to adding new outer skins over this area in the next few weeks.
Work is also progressing on the #1 and #3 bulkheads in the foreword fuselage. #3 was heavily modified when the original B.35 aircraft was adapted to a PR.35 specification. As a bomber variant, the #3 bulkhead would have come down only as far as the top of the bomb bay, however, when cameras were accommodated in the rear fuselage the bulkhead was extended to the lower fuselage, effectively shortening the bomb bay. The team has now stripped this extended bulkhead back to bare wood and are filling small areas where the wood was damaged.
Elsewhere, the team been completing the repair and replacement of virtually all of the ferrules in the cockpit and forward fuselage area following damage from the careless removal of equipment over the years. The CMS team is indebted to support from David Coeshall and Glyn Powell, who provided new ferrules to complete the work.
TPM’s global reach
Over the past few years, The People’s Mosquito has invested considerable time in forging close partnerships and networks with heritage organisations, museums, restoration companies and anyone associated with creating and now conserving the legacy of the De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito.
In September 2017, TPM’s Director of Engineering Ross Sharp was able to support The Calgary Mosquito Society by supplying samples of just some of the 22,300 original De Havilland technical drawings we have at our disposal. The drawings, which relate specifically to the B.35 to PR.35 conversion, should assist the team in Calgary in clarifying aspects of their conservation work.
It’s an area of collaboration of which we are especially proud and we will continue to support and share the work of colleagues all over the world.