Gloster Gladiator in 263 RAF Squadron service

263 Squadron
Filton, October 1939 to April 1940. Norway, April 1940 to June 1940.
Code letters: "HE".
Serials Code Arrival Note Departure
K6145   10/10/39 From 605 Sq. 21/10/39 Hit water low flying over Severn, near Lydney, Glos. and blew up.  
K7917   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   29/10/39 To 5 MU.
22/08/41 To 27 MU.
05/07/42 To Admiralty.
K7952   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   04/11/39 To 27 MU.
15/11/39 To 24 MU.
24/05/42 To 27 MU.
05/07/42 To Admiralty.
K7961   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   08/02/41 To 5 MU.
14/02/41 To Royal Hellenic Air Force.
19/06/41 To 107 MU.
05/09/41 To ME.
03/42 To 1411 (Met) Flight.
K7965   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   04/11/39 To 27 MU.
15/11/39 To 24 MU.
15/03/40 To 607 Sq.
K7979   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   30/10/39 To 5 MU.
25/08/41 To 27 MU.
05/07/42 To Admiralty.
K7985   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   30/10/39 To 5 MU.
16/09/41 To 27 MU.
17/02/42 To 2 AACU.
K8004   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   04/11/39 To 276 MU.
15/11/39 To 24 MU.
28/03/42 To 2 AACU.
K8020   11/04/40 From Usworth Station Flight.   14/04/40 To 6 OTU.
K8027   12/04/40 From Usworth Station Flight.   14/04/40 To 6 OTU.
K8032   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   04/11/39 To 27 MU.
15/11/39 To 24 MU.
03/05/40 To 52 MU.
15/05/41 At 103 MU in the Middle East.
No further trace.
K8044   10/10/39 From 605 Sq.   30/10/39 To 5 MU.
17/07/41 To 27 MU.
13/10/41 To 2 AACU.
N5579 HE-D From 152 Sq. 27/04/40 Destroyed and abandoned at Lake Lesjaskog in Norway.
Later recovered and preserved at Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, UK.
 
N5588   From 152 Sq. 29/03/40 12:17 Lost in mid-air collision with N5690 1m E of Marlwood Farm, Thornbury; P/O Darrell Edward David Milson KIFA. (not 100% certain, which pilot who flew which aircraft).  
N5589   From 152 Sq. 25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.
Recovered frame but present status unknown.
 
N5623   From 152 Sq. 07/04/40 Lost control in low cloud during formation flight; the aircraft dived into the sea off Portishead, Somerset; Sgt Kenneth Primrose Vickery (RAF no. 566236) KIFA.  
N5624   From 152 Sq. 21/04/40 Engine cut on approach to HMS Glorious and the aircraft ditched in Scapa Flow, Orkneys.  
N5625   From 152 Sq.   To Harwell Station Flight.
N5626   From 141 Sq.    
N5628   22/04/39 To 8 MU from Manufacturer.
27/10/39 To 263 Sq., Filton.
20/04/40 263 Sq. moved to Prestwick.
21/04/40 Embarked on HMS Glorious.
24/04/40 Flown off from HMS Glorious to Lake Lesjaskog.
25/04/40 Bombed on and destroyed ground at Lake Lesjaskog.
05/40 Sank trough melting ice on Lake Lesjaskog.
1968 Wreck found by diving team from RAF Cranwell.
08/70 Engine and forward fuselage recovered by diving team from RAF Wyton.
08/72 Recovered remains placed on display in RAF Museum, Hendon, UK.
 
N5630     Later to 152 Sq. and then returned to 263 Sq. To 1403 (Met) Flight.
N5631       To 247 Sq.
N5632     25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5633 HE-K   Fate unknown, probably bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog on 25/04/40.  
N5634     25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5635     27/05/40 1 Ju 87 shot down by F/L Hull. Aircraft shot down at Bodø by Bf 110 in same combat and F/L Hull WIA. Aircraft identified by serial number found on the wreckage.  
N5636       To 1 SAC.
N5637       To 1402 (Met) Flight.
N5639     25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5641 HE-B From 152 Sq. 25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.
Recovered and displayed at Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum, Bodø, Norway, in 263 Sq. colours as “HE-G”.
 
N5644   From 152 Sq.   To Shetland Fighter Flight.
N5647   From 152 Sq. 26/04/40 Crashed at Litjdalen, Sunndalsøra, Norway; P/O Craig-Adams bailed out safe.
Wreck recovered and serial number found on aircraft.
 
N5649   From 152 Sq.   To 247 Sq.
N5680   From 152 Sq. 25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5681   From 152 Sq. 08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.  
N5684   From 152 Sq.   To 247 Sq.
N5690     29/03/40 12:17 Lost in mid-air collision with 5588 1m E of Marlwood Farm, Thornbury; P/O Patrick John Muriel Nettleton KIFA (not 100% certain, which pilot who flew which aircraft). 05/04/40 SOC.
N5693   From 152 Sq. 21/05/40 Crashed into mountainside at Osterfjord, Senja Island, Norway, in bad visibility; P/O W. P. Richards KIFA.
Wreck recovered and serial number found on aircraft.
 
N5695   From 152 Sq. 08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.  
N5697        
N5698   From 152 Sq.    
N5699     08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.  
N5705     24/05/40 1 Fw200 shot down by F/O Grant Ede.  
N5714     26/05/40 Believed damaged beyond repair after enemy air raid on Bardufoss.  
N5719     22/05/40 1 He 111 claimed by P/O Craig-Adams; the pilot KIA.
Aircraft (identified by serial number on wreckage) crashed on Høgfjellet at Sjøvegan. It has now been recovered. Restoration project by Retro Track and Air and registered as G-CBHO.
 
N5720     25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5723     08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.  
N5725   From 152 Sq. 08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.  
N5894   From Turnhouse Station Flight. Lost in Norway during evacuation from Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5898     Lost in Norway during evacuation from Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5902   From 141 Sq.   To 25 Sq.
N5904     Lost in Norway during evacuation from Lake Lesjaskog.  
N5905 HE-N   02/06/40 4 sh. He 111s, 1 unconfirmed He11 and 1 sh. Ju 87 claimed by F/L Williams.
Lost in Norway.
 
N5906     08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.  
N5907     08/06/40 Lost with HMS Glorious.
It is also possible that this aircraft crashed near Torskenfjord, near Soresia, Norway, in bad visibility on 21/05/40; F/L Mills WIFA. According to unconfirmed sources a serial plate with N5907 was found on the wreckage.
 
N5908 HE-F   26/05/40 Crashed on take-off and abandoned at Bodø landing ground; P/O Falkson safe.
Possibly still buried at the end of the main runway.
 
N5909     26/04/40 Bombed on ground at Andalsnes.  
N5914   From Prestwick Fighter Flight. 02/06/40 Shot down by German ace Lt H. Lent east of Rombaksfjorden; P/O J. L. Wilkie KIA.
Aircraft recovered in the end of 1998 and brought to UK for restoration by the Jet Age Museum.
 
N5915     25/04/40 Bombed and destroyed on ground at Lake Lesjaskog.  


Gloster Gladiator Mk.II of 263 Squadron operating from Lake Lesjaskog, Norway, in April 1940.
© 1999 Rick Kent

Gloster Gladiator Mk.II N5628 of 263 Squadron at RAF Museum, Hendon, in 2007.
© 2007 Håkan Gustavsson

Gloster Gladiator in Commonwealth squadron service






Last modified 05 February 2009