Hawker Hurricane Mk IV RP in service of the National liberation struggle
Since the beginning of the Partisan movement was considered in the creation of conditions for air effects, primarily on transport although it was considered in the combat operations. But such a method of warfare does not allow to let the territory stay longer, but there were no conditions for a kind of aviation. At the beginning of 1942. were formed airport groups to accept aid from the USSR, by air. A particular problem that they had was the lack of weapons, clothing, accessories, so that is the main source of supply was seizure of the enemy. That caused a patchwork of uniforms and weapons. On several occasions, they came to the heavier weapons and even to aircraft.
|Hawker Hurricane Mk.I Yugoslav AF|
So they gradually created new units of various genera of the confiscated techniques, especially after the capitulation of Italy. The growth of the National Liberation Struggle Partisans received better aircraft. The planes were received from the Independent State of Croatia so as pilots sympathize fleeing from NDH services with airplanes to the partisan territory with Do-17, Caproni, Ju 87 - Stuka, Me-109 ... These planes were used until the end of the war and after, because of difficulties in maintaining, even 45 of different models, of which only five still produced.
|Yugoslav ground crew wheel 3-inch rockets past RAF No. 351 (Yugoslav) Squadron Hawker Hurricane Mk. IV fighter-bombers at Prkos, Yugoslavia (today Croatia) circa March-April 1945 (Photo Source Imperial War Museum)|
The Military Aeronautics of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, (the VV), firstly, between December 1938 and February 1940, purchased in Great Britain 24 planes Hawker Hurricane Mk I, and in mean time Yugoslavia started building under ransomed license series of Mk I variant aircraft, manufacture entrusted to the indigenous aircraft factories "Zmaj”, (of ordered 60, until the beginning of war 1941, delivered 24), and ,”Rogožarski”, (of ordered 40 in April in factory’s plants, on production line, 24 uncompleted), at a common price of 2.038.000 dinars, a piece. In the beginning of March 1941 took off unique Yugoslav modification of Hurricane, designated LTV 1, (Lovac Vazduhoplovno Tehnički – the Aeronautical Technical Fighter, according to the name of the technical section of the VV Command, responsible for the Hurricane modification). Instead of Rolls-Royce Merlin, the Hurricane LVT 1 had a German Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine, (a standard power plant of the Messerschmitt Bf 109E), significantly improving plane’s characteristics. On the eve of April War 1941, in the VVKJ units, in the composition of the 2nd and 4th Fighter Regiments, were 35 operative Hawker Hurricanes.
|Yugoslavian pilot Tugomir Prebeg stands by his Hawker Hurricane damaged during a ground attack mission in 1944|
Exhibited aircraft by the end of the W.W.II was in the composition of the BAF No.351Y Squadron, formed on 1st July 1944at Benina airfield in North Africa, and introducing of Hurricane Mk IVRP planes to unit started on 11th September 1944. After completing combat training (including firing and rocket launching), the unit moved to Italy, to the Cane airfield, off which took off on the first combat task on 14th October 1944, and, moving later to airfields on the island Vis and at Zadar (Prkos and Škabrnje), continued supporting closing operations of liberation the country, performing 971 combat flights. After the W.W.II Hurricane were utilized in the Yugoslav Air Force until 18th Augusta 1952 when were withdrawn from operative service.
|Hawker Hurricane Mk IV RP - on display at the Aeronautical Museum-Belgrade|
The plane in the Air Museum’s collection, (c/n 20925), was built 1943. In Yugoslav Air Force got serial 9539, and after withdrawal from service was allotted to the Military Museum, and in 1961 handed over to the Aeronautical Museum.
|Hawker Hurricane Mk IV RP - prepared for presentation|