An update on Clostermann’s Hawker Tempests

Clostermann’s Tempest Mk V NV994 “Le Grand Charles”, No 3 Squadron, late May 1945. Print available from Bravo Bravo Aviation.

One of the first names that comes to mind in association with the Hawker Tempest is that of French ace Pierre Clostermann, and particularly his Tempest JF-E named “Le Grand Charles”. Over the years, I’ve represented this aircraft several times. The first updates were simply due to the fact that my early Tempest profiles were not nearly as good as my later work. After improving the initial profile, I decided to recreate a Tempest template from scratch to create a much better profile, and thus recreated the profile.

I’ve updated the profile again, this time for another reason. Having come across an article by renowned author Chris Thomas, I realized that the serial I had used for “Le Grand Charles” was incorrect. This latest iteration shows Le Grand Charles with the serial NV994. I also seized the opportunity to represent Clostermann’s Tempest NV724 – which replaced NV994 after it was damaged on 01 July 1945. This Tempest is the one that carries the Lorraine Cross, a symbol adopted by the Free French. Many profiles and representations of Le Grand Charles include that cross but close examination of the available photos shows that these were distinct aircraft. It is most likely that “Le Grand Charles” never sported the Croix de Lorraine, although the absence of proof is not the proof of absence.


Clostermann’s replacement Tempest for NV994 was NV724. No 3 Squadron, August 1945. Print available from Bravo Bravo Aviation.

If you’re interested in the topic, I strongly advise you to read Chris Thomas’ article on the topic. You can find it on page 26 of the February 2019 edition of Info Eduard :

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