A desert Hurricane, 75 years ago today
Royal Air Force Hurricane Mk II escorts rolling trucks of a New Zealand unit on the move in Egypt on 3 August 1942 at well under 100 feet.
Although the Spitfire gets all the love, the plucky Hawker Hurricane, with more than 14,000 examples built between 1937-1944, performed yeoman service on all fronts throughout WWII. In North Africa, however, they did face not only the wrath of late model German Bf 109E and F-variants, but also of the very zippy Alfa-Romero-powered Macchi C.202 Folgore (Thunderbolt) of the Italians, all of which could outperform the Hurricane. As such they were relegated to supporting troops as an attack plane, as shown in the above image, a role they excelled in.
Today only 50 or so Hurricanes survive around the world, with about a dozen airworthy examples. As for their Italian foe in North Africa, only two Folgores remain, one at the Italian Air Force Museum near Bracciano, and the other at the Smithsonian. So there’s that.