Mossie Vs. V1 Crossbow Actio

Mossie ‘Hairless Joe’ Vs. V-1

Hairless Joe was one of the fictional characters of the 1940’s US comic strip L’il Abner. Drawn by Al Capp, it was a popular cartoon of the period featuring a clan of hillbillies and their adventures. The character of Hairless Joe was a popular piece of nose art on many American aircraft from C-47 transports to   P-47 fighters. 

This Mosquito has the markings of Russell Bannocks ‘Hairless Joe’ from No. 418 squadron. Bannock was born in Edmonton in 1919, working as a commercial pilot before the Second World War. Entering the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Bannock received his RCAF pilot’s wings in 1940 and was appointed as an Instructor, then Ferry Command and later in 1942 posted to Chief Flying Instructor School, all based in Canada. Bannock’s request for overseas service was granted in 1944 and he joined 60 OTU based in RAF High Ercall, England.

In June 1944, Bannock was then transferred to No. 418 Squadron RCAF, flying intruder missions over Europe with the de Havilland Mosquito Mk. VI fighter-bomber. He quickly proved adept at this type of operation. In October 1944 he was promoted to Wing Commander and took command of the squadron.

Bannock  flew Crossbow ‘diver’ operations against the V-1 flying bombs launched against London and Southern England. On one mission he shot down four V-1s in one hour. A bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) was added for his missions against the V-1s. Bannock racked up 19 kills against the V1’s. Russ Bannock passed away in 2020 at the age of 100 years old.

Wing Commander Russ Bannocks Mosquito FB.VI – HR147 of RCAF 418 Squadron. Bannock was the highest scoring pilot in the squadron with 6 enemy aircraft destroyed in air to air combat, 2 more on the ground and 19 V-1 intercepts and kills.

Operating in the Intruder role, Bannock’s tactic against the V-1 was to fly in the launch sites area. To then spot the tell-tale flame of the pulse engine in the early stages of launch, then dive onto his prey.

How to make yourself a Mosquito bulkhead!
Help Us To Remember heroes like Russ Bannock to bring to life your Intruder FB.VI Mossie!

Operation Crossbow is the manufacturing of the fuselage shells. With some great packages and the option to make a regular monthly donation.

Work in progress for bulkhead No.2 for our fuselage shells


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