I was unable to determine when Z2961/K came to Malta, but since the first mention of the combat use coming from the beginning of September 1941 there is only the period April - June 1941 can be involved. Within the four operations (Dunlop, Splice, Rocket, Trucer) on Malta were delivered a total of 157 (from 164 sent) machines in version Mk.II. Considering laconic records of of particular machines allocations between squadrons, and the information that Z2961 came from a supplies of 46 new machines the possibilities is limited to two operations: Splice (May 1941) and Tracer (June 1941). The first assignment was supposedly newly formed in June 1941 MNFU (Malta Night Fighter Unit). Must be admitted that in the whole population of fighters operating over Malta, he belongs to the handful of "lucky titans." Z2961 / K served in following units: 185 Sqn, MNFU/1435 Sqn, 249 Sqn, 46/126 Sqn, 605 Sqn, and as one of six survived Hurricanes was fly in combat in March 1943.
Pilot, who opened the list of victories on Z2961/K was Plt Off DU Barnwell. On the night from 4 on the September 5, 1941 he shot down a Cant Z1007bis (this was a 7th victory obtained at night by MNFU). Barnwell was also a pilot, who opened the victories account for MNFU - on the night from 5 on August 6, he shot down two Fiat BR.20 (it's possible that he made it on Z2961).
Barnwell came from the family of strongly connected with aviation, unfortunately it was a tragic relation: his father kapt. Frank Barnwell was a chief of designers of Brislol Aeroplane Company - he died in a a plane crash in 1938. Two older brothers were served in the RAF as he served - one on the fighter, the second on bombers, both of them died during the war. David Barnwell was killed in combat over Malta on 14 October 1941, he was shot down shortly after he had sent the MC.202 in flames into the sea (piloted probably by Emanuele Annoni Sottoten). In the latest communication Barnwell reported: "Baling out, engine cut am coming down in the sea", Swordfish ASR sent on help could not find pilot, the search was continued the next day - without success ... The claims was requested by Sottoten Bruno Paolazzi, M.Ilo Manlio Olivetti, Serg Magg Luigi Taroni and Serg Guslavo Minelli.
At March 21, 1942 on Z2961/K victory over a Bf-110 gained the commander of 185 Squadron - Sqn Ldr EM Mortimer-Rose. March 23 was for "our" Hurricane real hard labor - during the morning flight, Sgt Garth Horricks damaged the Ju-88, on the next flight with another wave of Ju-88, Sqn Ldr EM Mortimer-Rose, but despite the long pursuit and firing one of them reported no success. At the end of the day Z2961 again took off to fight against Ju-88, but this time the pilot Plt Off O.O. Ormrod had no luck and he could not take a favorable position to intercept the bombers.
Next day Plt Off Ron Noble was able to successfully damage of the Ju-88, after the first attack from the bomber engine pulled out a heavy smoke and the plane began to decrease the fly. Next Noble fired to two morte bombers, which quickly got rid of the bombs. Unfortunately, during the attack, Noble was hit by the bomber gunner. The damage turned out to be so serious that British was forced to abandon the attack and an emergency landing. After returning Noble reported a probably shot down. It is highly probable that one from those three bombers was a Ju-88 3Z + CT 9/KG.77 which ended flight that in the sea, 20 miles from the Comiso, Lt. Karl-Heinz Muller crew did not survive.
One of the more "exotic" pilots of Z2961 / K was Sub Lt (A) Reg Elliott - FAA pilot usually flown Fairey Albacore. He also personally could see that the Z2961 is a lucky machine ... On August 23, 1942 Elliott, along with two others FAA pilots get permission to attack airfields on Sicily. His objective was Gela - three escorted by 10 Spitfire Hurribombers go on the mission with overcast. On the way one of them had go back to Malta due to technical problems, others (including Elliott Z2961) continued the mission. The surprise was complete, Elliott attacked the airport Biseari, as a target choosing a group of aircraft at one end of the airport. When wingman, join him over sea on back way it turned out that Elliott "was carrying" bomb, which was hanging on a clip ... Elliot had warned the Hal Far airbase about owl trouble, as he later recalled: "I made the best and most clean landing in my life." At the airportit appeared that the bomb was holding only by a detonator protection cord...
Pilots who have ace status and performed flights on Z2961/K
Sqn Ldr E.M. Mortimer-Rose - shoot down 9 + 4 group;
* Pit Off D.U. Barnwell - shoot down 5 + 2 group;
* Fl Sgt T. Boyd - shoot down 5 + 2 group;
* Sgt G. Horricks - shoot down 7 + 2 group;
* Plt Off O.O. Ormrod - shoot down 2 (5?) + 4 group;
Model I have done from set produced by IDEA - I do not know what is that heck, but its look like Hobycraft clone. Assembly of model is a completely different story - as opposed to the ARK, is composed almost perfectly :thumbsup - parts fit together very well, no shifts or gaps. Simply a pleasure. A small problem I noticed only in the fixing of the glass, light correction wth file and the problem was solved.
Model was painted using airbrush with Agama acrylic paint and varnish. Decals is a mix of: ribbons and fin come from Technod sheet, the serial number is "folding". Of course during the application all decals have been supported by Mr. MarkSofter. I code letter I painted by self (which, unfortunately, you can see) . Wash done with the MIG's dark and neutral wash, exhaust and guns smokes were applied VanGhog oils (for professional painters). Scratches is a mix of Humbrol 11 laying through dry brush technique and silver crayons.
As with the previous Hurrim, I'm not content with soiling and glass frame paint (here they also were jagged during removing the masking).