The Hawker Hurricanes of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight operates two Hawker Hurricanes Mk IIc: LF363 and PZ865.

LF363 was built at the Hawker factory at Langley near Slough. It first flew in January 1944 and is believed to be the last Hurricane to enter service with the RAF [Author’s note: this appears to be incorrect, see comment by G. Riley below]. The aircraft served with No 63 Squadron at Turnhouse, No 309 (Polish) Squadron at Drem, where it was used on shipping protection patrols off the east coast of Scotland, and No 26 Squadron with whom it flew naval artillery spotting and reconnaissance sorties before the end of the War.

Source: BBMF website

This is LF363 in 2014, carrying the colours of Hurricane Mk I P3395, which was flown by S/P Arthur Clowes during the Battle of Britain and carried the famous wasp nose art.

The last Hurricane ever built (of 14,533), PZ865 rolled off the Hawker production line at Langley, Bucks, in July 1944 with the inscription ‘The Last of the Many’ on her port and starboard sides. Keen to preserve the last Hurricane ever built, Hawkers purchased the aircraft back from the Air Ministry and kept it in storage at Langley.

Source: BBMF website

PZ865 as she appeared in 2015, carrying the colours of  Hurricane Mk IIC HW840 of No 34 Squadron, South East Asia Command during 1944, the personal aircraft of Canadian pilot F/L Jimmy Whalen DFC.

2 thoughts on “The Hawker Hurricanes of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

  1. LF363 was NOT the last Hurricane to enter service with the RAF. This myth has been perpetuated and repeated so many times that is now accepted as “fact” but it is wrong! Even some of the survivors (eg LF686) entered service after LF363. All in my book “Hawker Hurricane Survivors”

    Loving your profiles – say hello to Ben!

    1. Hello M. Riley,

      Thank you for your comment – I’ve updated the article accordingly. Just as everyone else, I took that for granted and have never looked into it. It is true that some misconceptions become “facts” in everyone’s minds once they are repeated. My favourite ironic example of this is the famous quote “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”, which everyone “knows” is from Goebbels – despite the fact that there is no indication he ever said that !

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