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Thread: RAF "ALDON" Messerschmitts

  1. #1
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    RAF "ALDON" Messerschmitts

    Very little appears on the Internet about this squadron based at Hendon in 1939. It would seem that Harold John Aldington who was also a Lt.Colonel (during WW2 ?)and proprietor for Frazer Nash cars at Isleworth was responsible for this collection. Apart from his well documented car racing record at Brooklands Racing Circuit and other locations with Frazer Nash cars, does anyone have any other details perhaps of his military service and how he came about to get this collection together ?
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    In 1939, the RAF impounded (2 or) 4 Bf 108s from the German embassy and got one from a UK dealer (A.F.N. Ltd). They operated them with No. 24 Squadron (located at Hendon) under the designation Messerschmitt Aldon (contraction of Harold John Aldington, name of the English dealer). It was one of the fastest light aircraft in the RAF but was sometimes mistaken for the Me 109. After the war, 15 other Bf 108s were operated. Three of these aircraft were initially designated G-AFRN (Bf 108 B-1 W. Nr. 2039), G-AFZO (Bf 108 B-1 W. Nr. 1660) and G-AKZY (Bf 108 D-1 W. Nr. 3059).

  2. #2
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    One of the captured postwar ones is still active with the CAF in the U.S. and recently migrated to the LA area

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    Cool RAF "ALDON" Messerschmidtts

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike J View Post
    One of the captured postwar ones is still active with the CAF in the U.S. and recently migrated to the LA area
    Yes, I have a photo of N2231 from an Air Britain contact of mine and have also recently been in contact with the Commemorative Air Force in the U.S.A where this aircraft still flies occaisionally.

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    From memory one of the 'Aldon's is still active in Europe, or was until recently - whilst not much on the web, there is a little out there, but a lot more in books. I'll have a look when I get home. There was also a little confusion with the identities, with one being given the pre-war registration of one of the other ones when demobbed.

    This is a pic from a seires taken for recognition purposes:



    The silver one above was one of the post war captured onesin Germany IIRC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike J View Post
    One of the captured postwar ones is still active with the CAF in the U.S. and recently migrated to the LA area
    Wow, I never knew that!
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  6. #6
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    There are A2As of it in one of the magazines this month, FlyPast I think. A friend flies it on occasion

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    I'll keep my eyes open for that. Gotta love the '108!
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

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    Surprisingly, there seems to be no information to view at the RAF Museum on this subject, although I have requested details from the Department of Research and Information Services and am awaiting a reply. Meanwhile I have photos and the history of three of the Taifuns that Harrold John Alderton arranged to sell to Switzerland in 1950 when he was the proprietor of AFN at Isleworth and have prepared a chronological notation of events which I intend to pass on to the Frazer Nash Car Collection Archive in due course.
    When in 1947, Airwork at Heston Airport were engaged to re-spray two of these aircraft from their camouflage colours to a pale metallic blue with black civil lettering, both ended up with the registration G-AFZO before the error was noticed and changed. The other was accordingly G-AFRN. The last Me.108 was owned by Air Couriers at Croydon and most likely shipped by Silver City Air Ferries from Lympne Airport to the Continent direct in early 1950.

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    G-AFZO sold to Switzerland as HB-ESM in 1950 at Ascona eventually found its way back to Germany as D-ESBH where it can be seen here in this Air Britain photo with the Messerschmidtt Foundation at Berlin in 1998. http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1326701/

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    No.24 Squadron RAF apparently operated station flights at RAF Abingdon, RAF Andover and RAF Northolt with "Aldon" Messerschmidtt 108's. Perhaps there might be some history to be found here, so far nothing heard from any other source. I would have thought that the RAF Museum would at least been able to trace something but perhaps this information has not been recorded during the war years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AEROFOIL View Post
    G-AFZO sold to Switzerland as HB-ESM in 1950 at Ascona eventually found its way back to Germany as D-ESBH where it can be seen here in this Air Britain photo with the Messerschmidtt Foundation at Berlin in 1998. http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1326701/
    The pic below was shot by my friend Harald Wiegand last year September during an open door day at Flugmuseum Messerschmitt. The Argus As 10 c of the Bf 108 is under overhaul, and they changed the instrument panel too, making use of the "glove compartement".
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    Cockpit changes to original style:
    http://www.flugmuseum-messerschmitt....e31/index.html
    http://www.flugmuseum-messerschmitt....sed/index.html

    Michael
    Last edited by redvanner; 2nd June 2015 at 14:40.

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    Many thanks for sending these pictures redvanner. Good to see that this vintage aircraft is being well looked after by the Foundation. Similarly N2231 is likewise being maintained in the U.S.A by the Commonwealth Air Force who still fly it on occasions at their air shows. I first saw this aircraft as a youngster just becoming interested in aviation, when it circuited very low a couple of times near to my home at Heston in 1950 as HB-DUB before it landed at the then officially closed Heston Airport. Perhaps the pilot had meant to navigate to Croydon and had lost his bearings (no doubt this was originally G-AKZY owned previously by Air Couriers at Croydon before the sale by Harold J.Aldington to Switzerland.) There was a short amount of airspace left between Heston Airport and the main northern approach to Heathrow 27R ? to allow for some tight manoevring. Later this aircraft was re-registered as HB-ESK and based at Grenchen, Switzerland

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    Quote Originally Posted by AEROFOIL View Post
    Similarly N2231 is likewise being maintained in the U.S.A by the Commonwealth Air Force who still fly it on occasions at their air shows.
    "Commonwealth"??

    Slip of tongue I guess, or auto spell.

    Commemorative.

    Don't care for paint scheme.
    Last edited by Flying_Pencil; 2nd June 2015 at 19:55.

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    I want to show you some pics of another Bf 108. This is not an "Aldon" one AFAIK, but a nice one nevertheless. 1. pic by me, Airshow Breitscheid 2012, 2. + 3. pic by my friend Harald Wiegand, open door Messerschmitt Flugmuseum (This one is not related to the Flugmuseum Messerschmitt, but privately owned) This is the oldest flying one, built in 1937, now operating from Reichelsheim, just north of Frankfurt. This is a very nice one IMHO. Enjoy the pics!
    Michael

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    This was originally shown as an article in "The Aeroplane Spotter" magazine and shows the aircraft at Heston with the caption I believe saying that it was taken at Heston 05.10.46.

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    In the current edition of FlyPast magazine (July) there is an excellent article with photos on one of the remaining "Aldon" Messerschmidtts -N2231 which is now based at Cable Airport, Uplands, California as part of the 3rd Pursuit Squadron, Commemorative Air Force. This is the same aircraft as the one which I saw as HB-DUB flying into Heston Airport near my home in 1950 when I was a schoolboy. One of the three Me.108's that Harold J. Aldington sold to Switzerland that year, this is a survivor and has been well maintained and renovated recently by the CAF to their credit, flying this January at an air show. Going back in years, according to an Internet source the "Royal Air Force impounded four Bf 108s on the outbreak of World War II and put into service, where they were designated Messerschmitt Aldon." It seems possible that if this was the case, that one of these aircraft might have been used as spares since it would appear that the three aircraft that went to Switzerland were the main part of the "Aldon" squadron initially based at Hendon.
    If anyone can enlighten me on the following, I have a copy of the Impressments Log, page 121 which has some history of these three Me.108's and also shows a photo of Aldon DK280 flying near Andover in 1941 in camouflage colours. The photo is by courtesy of "The Aeroplane". I would love to know exactly which month or even which year this refers to, so that I can delve further into the history of these aircraft

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    Be good to see one of the preserved ones in these colours?
    pb::

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    Here is a rare photo of HB-ESM taken at Ascona, Switzerland on the 18th April 1976 on https://www.flickr.com/photos/egcb_e...-acwLiQ-5h4Y15 - before it was renovated by DASA in Hamburg in 1992 as D-ESBH. It is now owned by the Messerschmidtt Foundation.

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    Current photos of N2231 taken at the Cable Airshow Jan 2015.

    UPDATED LINK BELOW!

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/43xtl7d86...EcupU5pza?dl=0
    Last edited by Cliff Heathcoat; 6th August 2015 at 16:55.

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    Some nice photos here Cliff

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    I am trying to ind a photo of G-AFRN for my second book on Fairoaks.

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    Which G-AFRN, Paddington? According to Kenneth West ('The Captive Luftwaffe' - Putnam, 1978) there was the 'real' G-AFRN (W/nr 2039) - but I can't see that it had any connection with Fairoaks - and the 'other' G-AFRN - which was actually G-AFZO (W/nr 1660) but after being bought at the No. 5 MU disposal sale at Kemble, was flown to Heston (West says carrying its RAF markings and a high gloss light blue colour scheme) and subsequently carried the registration mark G-AFRN (does anyone know why - surely if it was just a paint shop error it wouldn't have taken four years to realise and rectify this?) apparently until it was sold in Switzerland in 1950 as HB-ESL. And if you look at Aerofoil's earlier post (#16), you'll see that it seems to have been a case of lightning striking twice in almost the same place! But to return to your point of interest, Paddington, there are plenty of photos of the 'other' G-AFZO bearing its correct registration mark but I have seen none of it bearing the mark G-AFRN. If there are any photos of the 'real' G-AFRN, as a civil aircraft, I suspect that these are as rare as hens' teeth as it can't have flown in these markings for more than three months (its CofA was issued in June 1939 and all private flying was prohibited from September 1939). Theoretically, between September 1939 and May 1941 (when it was impressed as DK280) it could have been photographed in store (does anyone know where it was stored). The 'real' G-AFRN never returned to the UK civil register because it was destroyed in a crash in July 1944.
    Last edited by avion ancien; 10th October 2017 at 17:44.

  24. #24
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    Re examples in the U.S., circa 2003 there was an example in Abilene, Texas
    that was stored in the local CAF hangar. To the best of my knowledge, it was owned by a member, not the CAF.

    After the owner died, it left town on the back of a truck.
    Any details would be appreciated.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    Not a surviving Aldon, but a surviving, and flying, Bf108 B-1 is HB-HEB at Lausanne. Built in 1938, wn 1988, bought by the Swiss Army in 1938 as A-201, it was on display at Zurich Airport for 30 years. It was restored starting in 2001 with its new first flight in 2011, as A-201. My photo is at Lausanne, soon after its restoration, when I was minding the flight line and was close to the action.
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    Last edited by l.garey; 12th October 2017 at 11:05.
    Laurence

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