Here is a short story
about French flying ace Pierre Clostermann who, after his country capitulated to the
German Wehrmacht, went to England to fly for the Royal Air Force (RAF). His service for
the French resistance was spent downing German Focke-Wulfs, Junkers, and Messerschmitts
- 23 confirmed kills, 5 'probables,' and 30 aircraft damaged. His fabled aircraft was
a Hawker Tempest, sister craft to the beautiful Hawker Hurricane. This control line model
is designed for a .60 size engine. The article does provide detailed plans, but no description
of the building or flying process.
"Clo-Clo" Terror in a Tempest
by, Walter Musciano
On June 16, 1940 the Allied world mourned the collapse of the French Armed Forces
overrun by the German Wehrmacht and demoralized by the Nazi Luftwaffe. An armistice between
Germany and France soon followed. Many Frenchmen would not accept defeat; they rallied
to the side of General Charles De Gaulle who had formed the French National Committee
on June 18 to continue the fight.
Many brave and determined "Free Frenchmen" departed for Russia and England. These
warriors were welcomed in both countries where they joined one of the Allied armed forces
or formed Free French units of their own. One was Pierre Clostermann.
Clostermann, born in Brazil of French parents in 1921, later moved to France. When
his country capitulated he made his way to England; his father, Captain Jacques Clostermann,
was assigned to a post at French Headquarters in Brazzavile. Pierre joined the Armee
de l'Aire at the age of twenty; wearing the distinctive dark blue French uniform, he
trained at the Royal Air Force college at Cranwell. By 1942 the Frenchman had soloed
in a "Spitfire" at Rednal Operational Training Center. In 1943 he was assigned to the
"Alsace" No. 341 Squadron, R.A.F. as part of the Biggin Hill Wing. Commandant Mouchotte
was the squadron's leader; Lieutenant Martell led the flight to which Sergeant Clostermann
was assigned. Famous British Ace A. B. "Sailor" Malan was the Group Captain.
Hawker Tempests in formation flight.
Pierre Clostermann in his Hawker Tempest
- lots of confirmed kills.
Hawker Tempest cockpit.
Hawker Tempest instrument panel.
On July 26, 1943 Pierre scored his first victory by shooting down two Focke-Wulf 190
fighters from the crack German unit, Jg-2. After destroying his fourth enemy fighter
on 9/26/43 Clostermann was transferred to No. 602 "City of Glasgow" squadron composed
of Australians, New Zealanders, Scotsmen, Canadians, Frenchmen, Englishmen and Belgians
... a true pot-pourie of nationalities. "Clo-Clo" (Pierre) became an Ace over Germany
during the famous Schweinfurt ball bearing factory raid when Spitfires from "602" tried
in vain to protect the attacking B-17's.
During Spring 1944 this R.A.F. squadron was kept busy dive bombing V-1 launching sites
in their Spitfire IX aircraft. Since the fighters had to fly through a deadly wall of
defending flak Spitfire losses were high. When the Normandy invasion was in full swing
Clostermann and one of his buddies decided to attack German airfields on a freelance
sortie. The pair took off with their squadron mates but soon slipped away unseen. They
chanced upon a camouflaged enemy airfield and swooped down to strafe a number of planes
on the runway. One Messerschmitt 109 tried to take off but Clostermann shot him down
on the field's main runway. Upon their return to 602's airfield at Ford, near Brighton,
England, the two were severely admonished. This breach of discipline was pretty much
forgiven when intelligence learned the culprits had discovered the secret field!
On June 17, 1944 No. 602 Squadron was transferred to an airfield on the Continent
near Longues, France. About this time Clostermann was promoted to flight leader. During
one aerial battle Pierre shot down three Focke-Wulf TA-152 "long noses" and damaged two
others. The intrepid Free French fighter was presented with the Distinguished Flying
Cross by Sir Archibald Sinclair, the British Minister for Air. Pierre was sent to England
for rest after flying more than 300 sorties!
During January 1945 Lieutenant Clostermann was assigned to No. 274 Squadron, R.A.F.,
as leader of "A" Flight and temporary commander of the squadron. No. 274, stationed in
Volkel, Holland, . was equipped with new Hawker "Tempest" fighters. These speedy machines
enabled the squadron to attack the Messerschmitt 262 twin jet fighters which were appearing
over the Western Front in ever increasing numbers. Clostermann and the other Tempest
pilots found that the only way to successfully shoot down a 262 was to head for the jet's
base as soon as word was received regarding a jet plane sighting. As the Messerschmitts
approached their base and extended their landing gear, lowered their flaps, and throttled
back the Tempests dived upon the then almost helpless jets and destroyed them. This particular
Hawker was one of the few Allied planes that could successfully attack a 262.
During early 1945 "Clo-Clo" and the 274th shot up trains and trucks, more jets and
more long-nose Focke-Wulf fighters. This was dangerous work and the squadron lost thirty
one pilots during one month.
After escorting a paratrooper attack, shooting up a supply train, strafing a panzer
column, pulverizing troop-carrying trucks, then attacking a railroad yard - all in one
day - Clostermann was ordered to organize a flight at six-thirty in the evening of 3/24/45.
This was to maintain patrol near an enemy jet fighter base to determine if the Germans
were evacuating their 262 jets to the interior. When the young Lieutenant took off with
three comrades it was a black night with exceptionally poor visibility. Suddenly Pierre
spotted the exhaust of a German Junkers 88 night fighter to his left. He swung to the
attack and fired almost blindly. To his surprise the German plane erupted in a sheet
of flame. The Tempest's four cannon had scored a direct hit! An instant later another
Hawker streaked by and struck the flaming Junkers.
Clostermann realized that his wingman had smashed into the German at top speed before
he could swerve. The Ace was so stunned he forgot he was heading directly over the anti-aircraft
defenses of the German jet field! Without warning two direct hits struck the lone Tempest.
The stunned pilot felt a burning sensation in his right leg. He was on the verge of losing
consciousness when a cold draft, whistling through jagged holes in the fuselage, brought
him wide awake. A quick check showed all important instruments inoperative; his radio
was smashed, no recognition lights could be turned on. The cockpit canopy runner was
bent, the hood would not open nor would it jettison! This eliminated any possibility
of bailing out ... injured leg or not! Following the Rhine River to Arnheim, then the
Meuse, finally a familiar railroad track, Clostermann located his base. He brought his
damaged Tempest in for a belly landing. As the craft struck the ground the shoulder harness
snapped and the Frenchman was thrown against the reflector gun sight. Rescue teams plucked
the semi-conscious Ace from the cockpit before fire consumed the wreck.
Eight days after his forced landing Lieutenant Clostermann was out of the hospital
and assigned to No. 3 Squadron as commander of "A" Flight.
the war Clostermann completed 420 combat missions. He shot down thirty-three Germans
including aircraft such as the FW-190, Me-109, Ju-88, He-111, Do-24, Ju-252, and Ju-290.
In addition there were 12 more "probables" plus 24 aircraft destroyed on the ground during
strafing missions. The Royal Air Force officially credits "Clo-Clo" with 23 victories,
5 probables, and 30 damaged aircraft due to their rather meticulous method of figuring
After the war the Ace entered French politics and became Parliamentary Deputy for
French Ace Clostermann and his Tempest.
See the full constructions article for the
Hawker Hurricane Plans
The AMA Plans Service offers a
full-size version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They
will scale the plans any size for you. It is always best to buy printed plans because
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Posted October 6, 2013