Sunday 15 April 2012

Big Picture - Scramble

This weeks Big Picture is a double bill. Both photos are from the Newlyn Collection and appear to show RAF crew scrambling for their aircraft. However I don't believe the first picture is authentic. Ray owns several publicity photo's from the making of the film The Battle of Britain showing the lead actors in costume on set and in character. Although this picture isn't labelled as such I think it is also a still from the making of the film. Having said that its still a very nice 'character' shot.

This picture on the other hand is the real thing. It was taken at North Weald Airfield (about 40 minutes drive from my home) and clearly shows aircraft in the distinctive E Pens. These defensive earthworks provided protection to aircraft and crew and some examples still remain at this airfield.

Unfortunately this second picture had little other by way of identification on the reverse so I am unable to put a specific date on it.


  1. Fascinating, a glimpse to a lost world.

  2. Four blade prop's, 20mm cannon. I cannot remember seeing any of these types during the Film at all. Too late in the war. B or C wing type, VB-VC, or maybe VI...Whoops I am a plane spotter.

  3. The following information is taken from Cato Guhnfeldt: Spitfire saga, vol. 1, Oslo, 2009, page 236-237. (excellent work - Norwegian text). The lower picture was taken April 21, 1942 at Catterick by Norwegian war photographer Ole Friele Backer at a pressday. Which means the scramble is actually staged. The English caption: Sergeants Bjørn Ræder (left), Jan Eigil Løfsgaard, 2nd Lieutenant Erik Hagen, the dog Spit and 2nd Lieutenant Erik Haabjørn, run towards Spitfire AH-M/BL314, named "Litago"


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