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The Poona Tempests

 

When the last Tempest Mk. IIs were withdrawn from Indian front line service in 1955 they remained in service up to circa 1956 as operational trainers at Hakimpet and at the Armament Training Wing, Jamnagar. Others were used for ground instruction and latterly, as airfield decoys. In February 1969 nine Tempest IIs were discovered at Poona, five at least with wings and undercarriages.

Towards the end of 1975, a letter was sent by the Under Secretary to the Government of India, offering several airframes and aircraft engines and parts for sale, including 11 Tempest Mk. IIs! The covering letter invites sealed bids for 'obsolete aircraft and equipmement' to be submitted to Maj Gen P H Alfred, AVSM, Officer on Special Duty to the Ministry of Defence. The last date for the bids was 29 February 1976. (Read more here: The Warbird Auction  - 1976)

Six Tempests were bought by the legendary vintage aircraft entrepreneur Doug Arnold and Warbirds of GB Ltd. The others are said to be scrapped onsite. In 1979 the Tempests finally arrived in the UK: HA457 (PR536), HA557 (MW404); HA564 (MW376), HA586 (MW763), HA591 (MW810), HA604 (MW401).

The Tempests were acquired by Nick Grace and Chris Horsley and stored at Chichester as part of the "Tangmere Flight".

 

 

The Tempest Mk. IIs at Poona, India.  Thanks to Peter Arnold for the photos!

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Indian serial no. HA586, ex-RAF MW763

Today owned by Anglia Aircraft Restorations.

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Indian serial no. HA586, ex-RAF MW763.

Today owned by Anglia Aircraft Restorations.

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Indian serial no. HA591, ex-RAF MW810.

Today owned by Nelson Ezell, TX USA.

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Indian serial no. HA591, ex-RAF MW810.

Today owned by Nelson Ezell, TX USA.

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Indian serial no. HA634, ex-RAF MW393.

Scrapped?

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Indian serial no. HA457.

Today on display at RAF Museum, Hendon, as OQ-H (PR536).

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Indian serial no. HA457.

Today on display at RAF Museum, Hendon, as OQ-H (PR536).

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Unknown Tempest. Scrapped?

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Unknown Tempest. Scrapped?

 

 

 

These photos of the six Tempests were taken by Ken Emery in a barn at Lagness, south of Chichester, West Sussex in the summer of 1985.

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Photos:
via Peter Arnold
Ken Emery
Text sources:
Peter Arnold
Ken Emery
WarbirdsofIndia.com