Hawker Hurricane Mk I

Hawker Hurricane Mk I   LK-A,  L1630,  87 Squadron,
Plt Off W D David, Lille Seclin France, Late 1939

Part of the original batch of 20 two-bladed Hurricane Is delivered to No 87 Sqn at Debden between July and September 1938 as replacements for the unit’s Gladiator Is, this fabric-winged machine was sent to the continent (along with the rest of the squadron) just 24 hours after Britain declared war on Germany. Having survived eight months of relative inactivity in northern France, L1630 enjoyed ten days of near-constant fighting during the Blitzkrieg before finally being abandoned by No 87 Sqn (almost certainly at Merville) during the unit’s retreat to the Channel coast. It was flown almost exclusively throughout this period by prewar pilot Dennis David, who seemed to find the reduced performance of the fighter due to its original ‘Watts prop’ of little consequence in combat. Indeed, he was credited with 7 and 2 shared destroyed (plus an eighth solitary kill in ‘two-blader’ L1870), three unconfirmed and 2 damaged whilst flying L1630 between 10 and 19 May. Like the Hurricane of Off W D David, Lille/Seclin, May 1940 No 85 Sqn’s ‘Dickie’ Lee, this machine also participated in the Lille/Seclin inspection held on 6 December 1939, although photographs taken at the time indicate that it was then devoid of the squadron standard (a serpent) on its fin. Prior to the German invasion, the aircraft had had a crowned red lion on a yellow crest painted onto its starboard cockpit door, and as Plt Off David scored more victories, so small skulls (five in total) were added above the artwork. An enterprising No 87 Sqn rigger unhinged the door soon after L1630 was abandoned in France and brought it back to England with him for eventual presentation to the unit. Donated to the Air Historical Branch in the early 1960s following the disbandment of No 87 Sqn, the door went on display at the RAF Hendon Museum in the 1970s. In 1996 now Grp Capt Dennis David (retired) arranged for the historic relic to be exhibited on a long-term loan basis at the Shoreham Aircraft Museum in Kent.
Source: Osprey Aviation Books, Aircraft of the Aces Vol 18. ISBN 1-85532-597-7

Scale 1:72     Wingspan 6.66″ (169 mm)
Base size 7.71″ (196 mm) square (No. 5)
Weight not including base 9 ozs (259 grams)
Limited edition of 120 only   Total number of models produced 120

Hawker Hurricane Mk I Dennis David 1/72 scale pewter limited edition flown in the Battle of France. Handmade by Staples and Vine Ltd.