Hawker Tempest pilots in combat – World War Two and Aden Emergency

By the time the Tempest entered service many of its pilots were seasoned veterans, well up to capitalising on its superb qualities. In the December 2016 issue of FlyPast Graham Pitchfork profiled a trio of Tempest exponents

New Zealander Harvey Sweetman joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in April 1940. Immediately after completing his training in November 1940 he accompanied many of his fellow countrymen and headed for Britain, destined to become a fighter pilot.

Sweetman quickly established himself as an aggressive pilot, first with 485 Squadron RNZAF before transferring to another ‘Kiwi’ unit, the newly formed 486 Squadron. He was involved in numerous engagements with the enemy before 486 gave up its Hurricanes for Typhoons. In May 1943 Sweetman was awarded the DFC, with the Auckland Star newspaper describing him as a “forceful, straight-shooting pilot”.


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