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No.73 Sqn RAF - Squadron Profile.

No.73 Sqn RAF

Founded : 1st July 1917
Country : UK
Fate : Disbanded 17th March 1969
Known Aircraft Codes : TP, HV

Tutor et ultor - Protector and avenger

No.73 Sqn RAF

No.73 Sqn RAF Artwork Collection
Click the images below to view the fantastic artwork we have available to purchase!

Victory over Africa by Ivan Berryman.

Tribute to Squadron Leader Derek Ward by Ivan Berryman.

Rittmeister Karl Bolle by Ivan Berryman.

Aces for : No.73 Sqn RAF
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
Frank R Carey28.00The signature of Frank R Carey features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Aircraft for : No.73 Sqn RAF
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by No.73 Sqn RAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Hurricane aircraft.

Manufacturer : Hawker
Production Began : 1936
Number Built : 14533


Royal Air Force Fighter, the Hawker Hurricane had a top speed of 320mph, at 18,200 feet and 340mph at 17,500, ceiling of 34,200 and a range of 935 miles. The Hurricane was armed with eight fixed wing mounted .303 browning machine guns in the Mark I and twelve .303 browning's in the MKIIB in the Hurricane MKIIC it had four 20mm cannon. All time classic fighter the Hurricane was designed in 1933-1934, the first prototype flew in June 1936 and a contract for 600 for the Royal Air Force was placed. The first production model flew ion the 12th October 1937 and 111 squadron of the Royal Air Force received the first Hurricanes in January 1938. By the outbreak of World war two the Royal Air Force had 18 operational squadrons of Hurricanes. During the Battle of Britain a total of 1715 Hurricanes took part, (which was more than the rest of the aircraft of the Royal air force put together) and almost 75% of the Victories during the Battle of Britain went to hurricane pilots. The Hawker Hurricane was used in all theatres during World war two, and in many roles. in total 14,533 Hurricanes were built.


Click the name above to see prints featuring Vampire aircraft.


Full profile not yet available.
Signatures for : No.73 Sqn RAF
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.

Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC
Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC

Peter Ayerst joined the RAF in 1938, and was posted to 73 Squadron in August 1939, flying Hurricanes. He went to France with the squadron, scoring his first victory in April 1940. After a spell instructing, when he shared in the destruction of a He111 with two other instructors, he had postings with both 145 and 243 Squadrons. In July 1942 he went to 33 Squadron, before promotion to flight commander with 238 Squadron, both postings with further combat success. After a period in South Africa, he returned to the UK, joining 124 Squadron flying Spitfire MkVIIs in defence of the invasion ports, where he scored his final victory; then flew Spitfire MkIXs on bomber escorts to Germany. He later became a Spitfire test pilot at Castle Bromwich. Peter finished the war not only a brilliant fighter Ace, but also one of the most highly regarded wartime instructors in the RAF. His final victory tally stood at 5 destroyed, 1 probable, 3 damaged and 2 further destroyed on the ground.

Group Captain Frank Carey
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Group Captain Frank Carey

6 / 12 / 2004Died : 6 / 12 / 2004
6 / 12 / 2004Ace : 28.00 Victories
Group Captain Frank Carey

Born 7th May 1912. Frank Carey joined the Royal Air Force n 1927 as a 15 year old apprentice. Carey was first employed as a ground crew fitter and metal rigger but in 1935 Frank carey was selected in 1935 for a pilots course. He was then posted as a sergeant pilot to No 43 Squadron, the Fighting Cocks, whose aircraft he had been servicing. Demonstrating exceptional panache in the Hawker Fury biplane fighter, Carey was selected for the squadrons renowned aerobatics team which took part in many air displays. In early 1939, No 43 Squadron was re-equipped at Tangmere, Sussex, with the eight-gun Hurricane fighter. During World War Two, Frank Carey scored 25 enemy aircraft destroyed, one of the highest Allied fighter pilot totals. Carey opened his account at Acklington in Northumberland, when he shared in the destruction of several Heinkel shipping raiders during the cold winter of 1939-40. This was followed by a short spell at Wick defending the fleet at Scapa Flow before he was commissioned as a pilot officer and posted with No 3 Hurricane Squadron to Merville in France after the German invasion, adding to his total. After six days day of continuous combat, during which he bagged some 14 kills Carey was shot down. He had attacked a Dornier 17 bomber and was following it closely down in its last moments; the pilot was dead but the surviving rear gunner pressed his trigger to set Careys Hurricane alight, wounding him in a leg. The fire stopped, and Carey lwas forced to land between the Allied and enemy lines. Carey managed to get back by hitching a lift with a Belgium soldier on the back of his motorbike until he was picked up by a Passing Army truck which got him to a casualty station at Dieppe, he was put on a Hospital train but the train was attacked by the luftwaffe afer the attack the Engin eDriver had detache dthe train form the carriages and left the wounded. The wlaking wounded managed to push the carriages to the relative safety of La Baule on the coast. Frank Carey along with some other RAF personel managed to obtain a abandoned Bristol Bombay whihc they flew back to Hendon with Carey manning the rear gun. Carey found himself listed as missing believed killed and awarded a DFC and Bar to add to an earlier DFM. He returned to Tangmere just in time for the Battle of Britain. During the Battle of Britain, Carey was shot down during an attack on a large formation of German aircraft, when after several ships had been lost from a Channel convoy during the summer of 1940 Carey and five other Hurricane pilots of No 43 Squadron arrived on the scene to find enemy aircraft stretched out in great lumps all the way from the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg. Frank Carey said about the combat At the bottom were Ju87 dive-bombers; above these Me 109s in great oval sweeps, and above them Me 110s. Three of us got up into them. It was absolutely ludicrous - three of us to take on that mob. At one stage I found himself hooked on to the tail of the last of an echelon of 109s and started firing away quite merrily. Then I had an awful wallop. It was an Me 110 with four cannons sitting just behind me. There was a big bang and there, in the wing, was a hole a man could have crawled through. Carey was slightly wounded by an explosive bullet, then a second Me 110 attacked and caused damage to Carey's rudder; but he managed to return to Tangmere only to be fired at by its anti-aircraft guns. That he managed to land was, he said, a great tribute to the Hurricane. He had been in combat up to six times a day when on August 18, the squadron's losses enabled him to lead No 43 for the first time in an attack on a mixed bunch of fighters and Ju 87 dive-bombers. The fur was flying everywhere, he recalled. Suddenly I was bullet stitched right across the cockpit. Since Tangmere was under attack he turned away and found a likely field for a crash landing at Pulborough, Sussex, where his Hurricane turned violently upside down. he spent some time in hospital. In November 1941 he was posted to Burma with No.135 Sqn when war broke out in the Far East. No 135 was diverted to Rangoon in Burma , , On February 27 1942, Carey was promoted wing commander to lead No 267 Wing, though it could seldom muster more than six serviceable Hurricanes. After destroying several Japanese aircraft he was forced to move to Magwe. As Japanese air raids increased Carey turned the Red Road, the main thoroughfare across the city, into a fighter runway. One advantage, he recalled, was that it was quite possible to sit in Firpos, the citys fashionable restaurant, and take off within three to four minutes. I managed it on several occasions. Early in 1943, Carey formed an air fighting training unit at Orissa, south-west of Calcutta, for pilots who were unfamiliar with conditions and Japanese tactics. In November 1944 he was posted to command No 73 OTU at Fayid, Egypt, in the rank of group captain. Awarded the AFC, Carey returned to Britian as the war ended in 1945, where he was granted a permanent commission and went to teach tactics at the Central Fighter Establishment at Tangmere. After attending the Army Staff College he reverted to the rank of wing commander to lead No 135 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force in Germany, where he flew Tempests. Converting to jets, he moved to Gutersloh as wing commander, A succession of staff appointments followed until 1958 he was appointed air adviser to the British High Commission in Australia. Carey, who was awarded the US Silver Star and appointed CBE in 1960, retired from the Royal Air Force in 1962 and joined Rolls-Royce as its aero division representative in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, retiring in 1972 and moving back the the UK. . Frank Carey died 6th December 2004.

Frank Carey with the original painting - Fighter General - by Graeme Lothian.

Squadron Leader P G Leggett
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Squadron Leader P G Leggett
Squadron Leader P G Leggett

Percival Graham Leggett was born on the 24th of February 1921 and joined the RAFVR In June 1939 as an Airman under training Pilot. He was called up for active duty on 1 September 1939 and he completed his training in September 1940. On the 18 September 1940 Leggett crashed at Oldbury on Severn in Gloucestershire but was unhurt. Leggett was posted to No.615 Squadron at RAF Prestick in Scotland then to 245 Squadron at RAF Aldergrove on 28 September and then to No.46 Squadron at RAF Stapleford on 18 October 1940. He claimed a Fiat BR.20 and probably destroyed and shared in the destruction of another on 11 November 1940. Leggett was then posted to No.145 Squadron in late November 1940 and then to No.96 Squadron on 18 December 1940. Flying his Hurricane off Ark Royal, Leggett joined 249 Squadron in Malta in June 1941 and was in action that same afternoon. In July he increased his Battle of Britain score by shooting down a Macchi C.200 but was shot down in December, bailing out with minor injuries. He was posted to the Desert Air Force just before El Alamein. An RAFVR pilot, Leggett had flown both Hurricanes and Defiants before his posting to Malta. He stayed on in the RAF commanding 73 Squadron on Vampires, retiring in 1958 as a Squadron Leader.

Group Captian Alan Murray DFC
Click the name above to see prints signed by Group Captian Alan Murray DFC
Group Captian Alan Murray DFC

Wartime pilot who flew with No.46, No.501 and No.73 Sqn RAF.

Captain Tommy Thompson DFC JP BOAC/BA
Click the name above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Captain Tommy Thompson DFC JP BOAC/BA

9 / 3 / 2008Died : 9 / 3 / 2008
Captain Tommy Thompson DFC JP BOAC/BA

Anthony Robert Fletcher Thompson - Tommy Thompson was born on October 14th 1920. He joined the RAF VF about July 1939 as an airman under training pilot. Called up on September 1st, he completed his training at 15 EFTS and 5 FTS Sealand and arrived at 6 OTU on September 10th 1940. After converting to Hurricanes, he joined 85 (F) Squadron at Church Fenton on the 29th and moved to 249 (F) Squadron at North Weald in Essex on October 17th 1940. Thompson shared in the destruction of a Junkers Ju88 on October 28th and destroyed a Bf109 on the 30th. In May 1941 249 Squadron went to Malta and flew off of HMS Ark Royal in two groups on the 21st. On August 5th Tommy Thompson joined the Malta Night Fighting Defence Unit then formed at Ta Kali. He damaged an Italian Br20 at night on November 11th. The unit became 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight on December 23rd 1941. Thompson was posted to 71 OTU Gordons Tree, Sudan on March 3rd 1942. He returned to operations on October 1st joining 73 (F) Squadron in the Western Desert. In mid-November he was appointed A Flight Commander. At the end of December Thompson was posted to Cairo and in February he went to 206 Group as a test Pilot. He was awarded the DFC (23.03.43). On March 10th 1944 Thompson was seconded to BOAC and he took his release in Cairo on January 26th 1946 holding the rank of Flight Lieutenant. The following day he signed a contract with BOAC as a Captain. He retired from British Airways on October 14th 1975. Tommy Thompson passed away on 9th March 2008.

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