Friday, 17 March 2017

A touch of Irish, Hawker Hurricane Mk.X (Can) P5178 NV-G

Part of an original serial run of forty units built between March and August 1940, by Canadian Car and Foundry Corporation of Montreal, Quebec, P5178 was delivered to RAF in 1940. Taken on strength and assigned to No. 79 Squadron at Pembrey, Wales.

In September of that same year, P5178, flown by P/O Paul Mayhew, intercepted Kampfgeschwader 55 over the Irish Sea. After shooting down one Heinkel He 111P and sustaining damage during the sortie, the Hurricane was forced to land due to fuel issues in Wexford, Ireland. There are conflicting reports the Hurricane was captured (Ireland had claimed neutrality during World War II) or purchased from the British Governement.

P/O Paul Mayhew was interned, but later escaped to Northern Ireland in June, 1941. In February, 1942, P/O Paul Mayhew succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash, never regained consciousness and died.

P5178, now assigned with Irish Air Corps Serial No.93, was the first Hawker Hurricane to enter Irish service with the Advanced Training Section, Air Corps Training Schools in March (some sources say May) of 1942. Transferred to No.1 Fighter Squadron at Baldonnel, Ireland in 1943, was withdrawn from use in August of 1945 (other sources claim a last flight in May, 1946) and later scrapped.

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