BBMF Hawker Hurricane returns home

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Hawker Hurricane IIc LF363 arrived back at its Coningsby base in the hands of Sqn Ldr Mark Sugden, officer commanding the BBMF, on April 21 following a ‘major’ overhaul in the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

The fighter — which has been on continuous RAF charge since delivery on January 28, 1944 — has been repainted in the markings originally seen on Hurricane I V6665, operated by the Polish-manned No 303 Squadron from Northolt in September 1940.

Wearing its newly applied No 303 Squadron markings, complete with red sash on the rear fuselage, BBMF Hurricane IIc LF363 on its way back to Coningsby with Sqn Ldr Mark Sugden at the controls on 21 April.
Wearing its newly applied No 303 Squadron markings, complete with red sash on the rear fuselage, BBMF Hurricane IIc LF363 on its way back to Coningsby with Sqn Ldr Mark Sugden at the controls on 21 April. MoD

It now wears a red sash around the rear fuselage and the forward fin, and the ‘Kościuszko’ Squadron badge on both sides of the fuselage turtle-decking underneath the aerial mast.

On September 9, 1940, two days after V6665’s delivery to 303, one of the unit’s flight commanders, Flt Lt ‘Johnny’ Kent, claimed a Messerschmitt Bf 109E destroyed and a Junkers Ju 88 probably destroyed while flying the aeroplane.

Sgt Tadeusz Andruszków followed up on September 26 by claiming a Heinkel He 111 destroyed with the machine, but the following day V6665 was shot down by a Bf 109 over Horsham, Sussex, Andruszków perishing in the crash.