80 years ago, September 1941 – Hurricanes to Russia (Operation Benedict)

Header Image: Hawker Hurricane Mk IIBs of 151 Wing RAF at Vaenga, near Murmansk in the USSR, in September 1941.

Eighty years ago, on 7th September 1941, as part of Operation Benedict, 24 Mk IIB Hurricanes of 81 and 134 Squadrons were flown off the aircraft carrier HMS Argus to land at the Soviet airfield at Vaenga (now Severomorsk), a few miles north-east of Murmansk in the northern USSR, to provide reinforcements for the Soviet fighter defences. (Germany had invaded Russia on 22nd June 1941.) Another 15 Hurricanes in crates, along with 2,600 RAF personnel, were delivered by sea to Archangelsk by the first Arctic Convoy. These Hurricanes were assembled, in primitive conditions, in just nine days and were flown to Vaenga on 12th September.

Silver Spitfire visits the BBMF

Header Image: Spitfire Mk IX MJ271 G-IRTY – the round-the-world Spitfire – arrived at Coningsby on 22nd July. (Photo: Crown Copyright)

The BBMF had a special visitor and an extra aircraft with which to surprise members of the public on tours of the BBMF hangar between 22nd July and 13th August.

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