I encourage anyone that  has more information (Flight Log Book entries) or photos on 112 Squadron please send an e-mail to   raf_112_sqdn@yahoo.com before the history is lost.

Photos 1944 and miscellaneous

by Dr Frank Pearce

Air Officer Commanding, Desert Air Force briefing 239 Flight and Squadron commanders in the early days of the Italian invasion

The results of a typical Kittyhawk assault on the northern Italian front at Rovigo, south of Padua, 7.4.45

Kittyhawk fighter-bombers of 239 Wing strafing German motor transport in northern Italy

King George VI, disguised as ‘General Collingwood’, visits 239 Wing on the northern Italian battlefront, 27.6.44.

Other sources give the date as 21/6/43 on the Tunisian airfield Sorman

Desert Air Force ceremonial flypast [here No.5 (SAAF) Squadron] Mustangs at Campoformido airfield, 28.5.45.

FT854 , GA B had been previously coded as GA P,  Flt LT Neville Ahrens plane after the last aerial battle of 112 Sqn over Rieti 7th August 1944. F/L Ahern and F/Sgt Peters were out on patrol and encountered a formation of FW-190's. F/Sgt Peters blew one of the enemy aircraft to pieces in the air and F/L Ahern inflicted damage to several others. After a spirited engagement Ahern took hurried stock of the damage done to his Kittyhawk and found to his dismay that the airspeed indicator and half the starboard elevator had been shot away. There was a hole clean through the port mainplane one yard long by eighteen inches wide. There was also a gap in the rudder big enough to allow a pair of fists through and that the port tail plane and aileron were also holed. Ahern's achievement in getting his aircraft back to base, a matter of a 100 mile flight, is a striking illustration of just how much punishment a Kittyhawk can take.

Flt Lt Maurice Neville Matthias, 119867, RAFVR, Kittyhawk Mk. III FR474/ GA Jinx, after the last aerial battle of 112 Sqdn over Rieti 7th August 1944, note what appears to be an overlay or cut out repair for the roundal

112_Kittyhawk_R.jpg (9606 bytes)

Kittyhawk coded R

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Kittyhawks in formation Coded E perhaps K and M

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Picture of pilot in Kittyhawk AK907 Coded M

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Not sure yet if this is a 112 Sqn plane Coded M     AK 907

Kittyhawk GA?

GA-? plane serial FX760  Kittyhawk Mk IV   with extra fuel in a center drop tank 

May 1944, fully bomb laden FX740, GA-? piloted by Eddie Ross Cutella LG works to get airborne note the open cockpit this was done ever since 2 pilots almost lost their lives on take off when their planes caught fire trapping them, until rescued by ground crew. The plane has 20 degrees of flap and a boot full of right rudder to counter the prop spin. During this period the Kittyhawks carried a bomb load equal to that of a Baltimore or Maryland bomber. 

 Update: You have made an error which I would like to put right. Re Kittyhawk MK IV GA-? FX740 OF NO 112 SHARK Squadron Cutella Italy 1944. This aircraft was the personal mount of my late father FL/LT EDWARD ROSS 'A' COMMANDER. He originated the '?' on his aircraft FX 561, FX740 and FX760 .FX 740 HAS OVER THE YEARS , BEEN WRONGLY CREDITED TO SGT PILOT DAVIES WHO WAS KILLED ON 31MAY'44.My father was a very experienced fighter-bomber pilot who flew over 134 combat missions with the Sharks from North Africa through to Malta, Sicily and on to the invasion of Italy. I would gladly send you an extract from his log book to verify this if you would correct this error on your web sight and give credit where it is due. The '?' he originated on his aircraft Fx 561/740/760 was to commemorate " Here today ,gone tomorrow" reflecting the high attrition rate that the planes and men of 112 faced in Italy at this time . I look forward to hearing your views in due course. Robin Brown Author of 'Shark Squadron' will also verify these points I have raised. For historical purposes its good to get it right for future generations ( and modelers of which I am the 112 Shark Squadron modeler at the reunions) Best wishes Alistair Ross

Update 112 Squadron, Royal Air Force pilot: Sergeant G. F. Davis Cutella, Italy, April 1944 flew FX740 GA-? the ? was used if the squadron had more than 26 planes and/or as the Sqdn Commanders plane.

Note: Further Research shows Sgt G F Davis having been shot down in FX740 GA ? on 31 May 1944 see Planes Lost 1940-45 page


To help people better understand please note the following which may not be a complete listing:


Kittyhawk Mk. I,   (AL161,GA ?, Billy Drakes personal plane for a time)

Kittyhawk Mk. IA, (ET790,GA ? carried the name "Christine" under the cockpit opening, Billy Drake flew, 41-36144 to RAF as ET790, also the plane that Plt Off John Satterehwaite Barrow, 118054, RAFVR was lost in due to flak damage on 22 July 1942)  

Kittyhawk Mk. IA, (EV165 GA ?, Drake, 41-36419 to RAF as EV165)

Kittyhawk Mk. IA, (EV168 GA ? Drake, 41-36422 to RAF as EV168. Shot down Oct 27, 1942 from escort mission, Fuka, North Africa.)

Kittyhawk Mk. III , (FR213,GAQ also GA ? when flown by Drake) 42-45817 to RAF as Kittyhawk III FR213 Jul 1942. No record of fate 

Kittyhawk Mk. III , (FR293, GA ? Drake) 42-45883 to RAF as Kittyhawk III FR293 Jul 1942. Wrecked when undercarriage collapsed during emergency landing at Azizia Main Aug 13, 1943 after engine over sped and ran away during takeoff.

Kittyhawk Mk. III , (FR338,GA?) 42-46131 to RAF as Kittyhawk III FR338. SOC Mar 14, 1946

Kittyhawk Mk. III , (FL740,GA?)

Kittyhawk IV , (FX561,GAR later GA?)  42-105402 to RAF as Kittyhawk IV FX561. SOC Aug 23, 1945

Kittyhawk IV , (FX740,GA? carried the cartoon character Wimpy forward on the cowling) 43-23325 to RAF as Kittyhawk IV FX740. Missing Jun 1, 1944

Kittyhawk IV, (FX760,GAT then GA? cn 9150M) 43-23639 to RAF as Kittyhawk IV FX760. Shot down by flak during close support mission Aug 21, 1944 not sure it was on 112 Sqdn strength when this occurred

Mustang III , (HB900,GA?) 42-103869 to RAF Jun 1944 as Mustang III HB900. SOC Apr 14, 1946

Mustang III , (KH589,GA? later GAX) 44-11014 to RAF as Mustang III KH589. SOC Mar 14, 1946

Mustang IV, (KH776,GA? later GAK, 44-11604)  

Mustang IV,  (KM278,GA?) not sure this is the correct numbers for GA? 44-12401 to RAF as Mustang IVA KM278. SOC Nov 25, 1946


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Rendition of Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk IV 

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Rendition of GA-Jinx This particular machine served with this unit during 1944 in Italy. It was flown by Capt. Matt Mathias, who damaged a Fw 190F during an air battle over Rieti in April 1944.

P51 C Mustang MK III. FB247 GA Q, North American P-51C-1-NT Mustang, note older style canopy not a Malcolm hood This maybe the plane of Flt. Lt. Raymond Vincent  Hearn, 102547 , RAFVR, No.112 Squadron, Fano, Italy, during February 1945. Hearn flew two tours with No.112 Sqn on Kittyhawks and Mustangs. He was the leader of B Flight and used the individual letter "Q" on his aircraft. He downed a Ju 88 in this machine on 9 September 1944, even though only one of his four guns was working. He was killed on what would have been his last sortie on 18 February 1945, in KH820 GA Q a later Mustang Mk IV with the Malcom hood,  his plane exploding after being hit by flak. The letter "Q" was not used again as a mark of respect

Sent in by Peter Izzard, Grandson of ground crew member Arthur Master


At a guess it is Mustang Mk III FB259. GA E with FB279, GA F behind it, note GA F seems to have something extra painted just in front of the cockpit,

Mustang Mk III, P51C. FB296, GAR short tail, 5/08/1944, A/C shot down near Florence, pilot Sgt R K Mann survived


Unknown RAF 112 Sqdn pilot (?) standing on the wing of a 112 Sqdn (?) Mustang, 

further study of the Shark Mouth, due to the curved teeth and the depth of the mouth,  as it goes back over the leading edge of the wing, suggests an American or possibly even Australian Mustang.

Sent in by Peter Izzard, Grandson of ground crew member Arthur Master, Arthur had this photo labeled 

"Albons Angel" 

There is a small drawing with lettering just under the forward cockpit windscreen.

This might refer to action in Italy, 22 January 1944 in the Alban hills but on that day the Squadron was on the far side of the Italy watching  Tommy Trinder the comedian at the Garrison Theatre in Foggia

At this time I have no further details on this P51 Mustang

Mustang MK IV (P51 K) KH832, GA J seen here in natural finish with anti glare paint on top cowling note newer style canopy

Mustangs of 112 Sqdn some painted some in natural finish 1st plane is KH774,GA S, Behind it is the Mustang Mk IV of Wing Commander Brain Eaton, this plane carried the name Marisa on the canopy lower rail and the letters BAE under the canopy, also it had a large Desert Air Force shield painted in front of the canopy on the engine cowl. See below

Mustang IV, No.112 Sqdn.KH774 GA S,  Feb 1945 - Dec 1946

KH774,GAS, 44-11602, flown by Lt Blanchford 6/5/45

The last version of the Mustang to see service with the RAF was the Mustang IV, equivalent to the USAAF's P-51K. This version incorporated a number of improvements, including a bubble hood and an increased armament of 6 x .50" machine guns. The Mustang surely ranks as one of the finest fighters to see action during the war. It combined a huge operational radius with the ability to defeat the enemy's interceptors over their own territory; a crucial factor in the success of Allied operations over Europe from D-Day and beyond.

North American Mustang Mk. IVA 112 Squadron, Royal Air Force Cervia, Italy, May 1945 Here is the final piston-engine aircraft type operated by 112 Sqdn, the Mustang IVA (P-51K); a mixture of Mk.IV's (P-51D) and IVA's were operated from February 1945 until December 1946. Up to approximately the end of hostilities in Europe these Mustangs were painted in the normal camouflage.. After that they were left in natural metal finish with Olive Drab anti-dazzle panel in front of the cockpit, and the code letters in black instead of white, all other markings remaining the same. Note that yet again the serial number (KH774) is over painted, by the individual aircraft identification letter "S". The Mustang IV's and IVA's were used alongside the remaining Mk.III's mainly in the ground attack role with bombs, though they did also fly longer-range missions with fuel drop tanks under wing. After a period in Northern Italy on occupation duty after the war's end the Squadron was disbanded at Treviso on 30th December 1946

Unknown Pilot,( Looks a lot like Tex Gray)  behind his plane is GA B P51 K possibly KH734 or possibly KH719 the aircraft Capt G H Edwards, SAAF, 11208V,  went down in 20/06/45

Sent in by Robert "Jock" Sinclair, Mustang Mk III, HB900 GA "?", note "Wimpy" painted by the (unknown, possibly W D Musther) pilot, photo taken July 1944 at Creti LG near Foiana, Italy

FB290,GAB, still had the early canopy, also served with 260 and 3 Sqdn, destroyed by flak 3 April 1945 while serving with 3 Sqdn,  42-103184 to RAF Mar 1944 as Mustang III FB290. Crashed near Maribor Apr 3, 1945 after pilot abandoned aircraft following flak damage

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