Hornet Squadron is the main focus of the Derek Robinson novels War Story (1987 - set in 1916), Hornet's Sting (1999 - set in 1917), Piece of Cake (1983 - set during the first 12 months of WW2) - which was adapted into the LWT miniseries of the same name - and A Good Clean Fight (1993 - set in 1942) The Squadron motto is 'Beware our Sting'.
- Autumn - Hector G. Ramsey takes command of Hornet Squadron, operating under the codename Jester, and is quickly dubbed The 'Ram' after informing his pilots that, because their Hawker Fury aircraft are too slow to catch the enemy to shoot them down, the squadron would have to use ramming attacks.
- July - Hornet Squadron re-equips with Hawker Hurricanes. Five days into the intensive training programme that follows, Squadron Leader Ramsey contracts shingles and is hospitalised, not recovering enough to return to duty until the third week of August.
- August 31st - Due to cancellation of flying because of dense fog, The Ram sends all the pilots on a cross country run, consisting of two circuits of RAF Kingsmere.[N 1] After the run, some of the pilots look through aircraft recognition cards, while The Ram and 'Uncle' Kellaway go to London to attend a meeting at the Air Ministry.
- September 3rd - Squadron Leader Ramsey taxis into a slit trench which had been dug while he was airborne, and breaks his neck when he slips while climbing out of the cockpit. Flight Lieutenant Barton takes over as temporary CO.[N 2]
- September 4th - Hornet Squadron go into action for the first time. Unfortunately, a fault in the tracking systems results in Hornet squadron firing on a formation of British aircraft.
- September 5th - Squadron Leader Rex assumes command of Hornet Squadron. His first action is to send Barton to deliver a personal apology to the CO to the Blenheim squadron Hornet attacked in error. He then leads a raid on a nearby stores depot, which had inadvertently received supplies intended for Hornet Squadron.[N 3]
- September 6th - Hornet Squadron departs for France.[N 4]
- Late October - Pilot Officer Starr is killed when his aircraft crashes into the river, while attempting to emulate Cattermole by flying under a local bridge.
- Early November - American-born RAF pilot Christopher Hart III is assigned to Hornet Squadron as a replacement for Starr, whose funeral has to be repeated when the local priest demands the remains of Starr - a Methodist - are removed from a Catholic burial ground.
- In early 1940, the squadron codename is changed to Hilltop, which it uses until it is virtually wiped out during the withdrawal from France.
- Following the withdrawal from France, the squadron is reformed with Fanny Barton in command. The new Hornet squadron is allocated the codename Mango
- Late August - Squadron codename is changed to Popcorn
- Early September - Squadron codename is changed to Bearskin
- Hornet Squadron, now equipped with P-40s, are operating in North Africa. A Good Clean Fight
- Jester - 1938 to early 1940
- Hilltop - early 1940 to Withdrawal from France
- Mango - Reformation to Late August 1940
- Popcorn - Late August/Early September 1940
- Bearskin - Early September 1940 onwards
- Flying Officer 'Moggy' Cattermole (Neil Duggon)
- Flying Officer 'Pip' Patterson (George Anton)
- Flying Officer 'Flip' Moran (Gerard O'Hare)
- Flying Officer 'Flash' Gordon (Nathaniel Parker)
- Pilot Officer 'Fitz' Fitzgerald (Jeremy Northam)
- Pilot Officer 'Sticky' Stickwell (Gordon Lovitt)
- Pilot Officer 'Mother' Cox (Patrick Bailey)
- Pilot Officer 'CH3' Hart (Boyd Gaines)
- Pilot Officer 'Dicky' Starr (Tom Radcliffe)
- Pilot Officer 'Moke' Miller (Mark Womack)
- Pilot Officer Trevelyan (Jason Calder)
- Pilot Officer 'Dumbo' Dutton (Sam Miller)
- Pilot Officer 'Boy' Lloyd (Timothy Lyn)
- Pilot Officer 'Amanda' Steele-Stebbing
- Pilot Officer Spencer
- Pilot Officer Haducek
- Pilot Officer Zabarnowski
- Adjutant - Flight Lieutenant 'Uncle' Kellaway - (David Horovitch)
- Intelligence officer - Flying Officer 'Skull' Skelton - (Richard Hope)
- Engineering Officer. Killed 1940 - Flight Lieutenant Marriott - (Stephen MacKenna)
- LAC Todd (Ground-Crew) - (Neil Clark)
Other Ground StaffEdit
- Air Commodore 'Baggy' Bletchley
- Jacky Bellamy - Female US reporter (Novel only).
- Mary - Schoolteacher & wife to Fitz. Widowed 1940 - (Helena Michell)
- Nicole - Wife of 'Flash' Gordon. Killed 1940
- Henri - (Cafe Owner)- (Daniel Andre Pageon)
Aircraft Used by Hornet SquadronEdit
- Hawker Hurricane Mk I (Also pre War)
- Supermarine Spitfire
- Curtiss P-36
- 'Flash' Gordon used a single example during Spring 1940.
- Curtiss P-40
The real RAF squadron that come closest to matching Hornet Squadron - in terms of World War 2 equipment and operating locations - is 73 Squadron: both had Hawker Fury aircraft pre-war, both used Hurricanes in the early months of the war, and both switched to Tomahawks for service in Africa. However, 73 used Gloster Gladiators between the Fury and the Hurricane, and only operated Tomahawks for a couple of months in late 1941 before reverting to Hurricanes.
- ↑ In the TV version, the cross country run takes place on September 3rd.
- ↑ The Ram's accident took place shortly before Neville Chamberlain's broadcast announcing the declaration of war.
- ↑ Rex assumed command on Barton's third day as temporary CO.
- ↑ The flight to France occured the day after Rex's arrival.