Seafire postcard wanted


War Hero
Book Reviewer
An (civilian) acquaintance of mine has just discovered that a chap he has known for years was flying Seafires off Indefat in the war. I've been asked to find postcards for my contact so that he can put a bit of history together. Indefat was easy but finding a postcard of a Seafire for sale has proved tricky in spite of grubbing about on the internet all morning. Tried FAA museum but the shop only seems to sell mugs and hats and things. Any ideas please? If there is a choice, one coming in with its hook down would be best as that would show it wasn't a Crab aircraft. Thanks in advance!


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Really appreciate that lead Sweetpea - three of the pictures are from the FAA's Tirpitz raid which I gather this man was on.
Ninja_Stoker said:
andym said:
Here you go feel free to copy.

Feeling cold, Woo?

Git your 'ands out of them pockets, Lofty.
:roll: :roll: AH! AH! Stokes, what you dont realize, is that the CHIEF AIRFRAME FITTER (AE) in the photo, is also a Brain Surgeon. Ask any wife or girlfriend of a WAFU, and they will tell you, that their brains are KEPT :wink: :wink: between their legs :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Great, this is getting to be quite an album. Which mark had the clipped wings? Also in the top of the last lot of pics there is what appears to be a Crab looking at the aircraft.
found this, if it is of any help, re the crab looking on :wink: LR647 Seafire IIc West M50A 15MU 19-4-43 R-RH 6-5-43 M32 install Cv LFIIC RNAS Donisbristle store 28-5-43 842S 7-43 897S 30-7-43 Port tyre burst landing port wing hit deck Cat X 8-8-43 (S/L WH Neilson) 880S 20-8-43 808S Burscough ('R') 3-12-43 Hook pulled out into barrier nosed over Hunter Cat Y1 5-2-44 (L/C JF Rankin) 768S Abbotsinch heavy landing Ravager Cat X1 23-9-44 (S/L RH Archer RNZN) ADDLs port tyre burst landing swung off runway nosed over Ayr 28-6-45 (S/L R Howarth) So it would be onboard HMS Hunter??? FAA squadrons embarked Dates Aircraft type
813 dt March-April 1943 Swordfish II
834 July-Aug 1943 Swordfish II
899 Aug 1943-Oct 1943 Seafire IIc
808 Oct 1943-Feb 1944 Seafire L.IIc
807 Jan 1944-Dec 1944 Seafire L.IIc
1700 dt April-Sept 1945 Walrus I
807 March-Oct 1945 Seafire The Squadron was re-equipped in May 1944 at RNAS Lee-on-Solent with 20 Supermarine Seafire L.IIIs. At the same time, they were attached to No. 345 Reconnaissance Wing of the Royal Air Force's Second Tactical Air Force.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Thanks Scouse, very interesting detail. Of the photos I have now been sent I detect a progression as follows: 1st conversions, the hook sticks out straight aft, quite soon after that it is positioned ahead of the tailwheel. Cockpit canopy starts off with panels, then a bubble, then the bubble changes as the fuselage is lowered (?) to run in a straight line presumably to improve the view astern. Later marks have a more pointed vertical stabiliser. As engine power increases the prop goes from three blades to four and I think (though no phots ) five and then to a contra-rotating pair, presumably because as the power piles up the torque is pulling the a/c right off at takeoff*. At some point I understood some clever engineer cropped the prop so as to reduce pecking. Wingfold is as described above in the url you are giving me.

*Pierre Clostermann in his book was interesting on this re his first go in a Typhoon with its 24 cylinder engine and nine-foot prop. I hadn't realised that the fuselage of a Spitfire was slightly distorted to compensate for the torque of the Merlin. Clever fellow RJ Mitchell.
Seaweed - There's a surprising amount of info about the Seafire on Wikipedia: Supermarine Seafire

Wiki also contains this illuminating passage in the section on the Supermarine Spitfire:

Supermarine Spitfire - Seafire variant
Wikipedia said:
...The basic Spitfire design did impose some limitations on the use of the aircraft as a carrier-based fighter; poor visibility over the nose, for example, meant that pilots had to be trained to land with their heads out of the cockpit and looking alongside the port cowling of their Seafire[130]; also, like the Spitfire, the Seafire had a relatively narrow undercarriage track, which meant that it was not ideally suited to deck operations.[131] Early marks of Seafire had relatively few modifications to the standard Spitfire airframe; however cumulative front line experience meant that most of the later versions of the Seafire had strengthened airframes, folding wings, arrestor hooks and other modifications, culminating in the purpose-built Seafire F/FR Mk 47.[132]

The Seafire II was able to outperform the A6M5 Zero at low altitudes when the two types were tested against each other during wartime mock combat exercises.[133] Contemporary Allied carrier fighters such as the F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair, however, were considerably more robust and practical for carrier operations.[134] Performance was greatly increased when later versions of the Seafire were fitted with the Griffon engines. These were too late to see service in the Second World War.[135]
I seem to remember that the Spitfire, on which the Seafire was based, is still regarded as Britain's most successful aircraft design with 24 different marks developed over the course of its life.
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