The Flying Heritage Collection’s Mosquito is back from the paint shop and nearly finished.
Flight Officer Alan Wagner of No. 605 Squadron flew “Wag’s War-Wagon” and became an ace in the plane on the night of March 5/6, 1944. Wagner often flew with his navigator Flight Officer “Pip” Orringe.
The plane’s standard factory camouflage was later overshot with an “Intruder Scheme,” a night black underside. After its March 5/6, 1944 mission, Wagner’s aircraft carried two victory markings for Japanese aircraft Wagner claimed over Ceylon (today Sri Lanka) earlier in the war, along with three marks for German aircraft shot down: two Me 410s and a Fw 190. A Flying Heritage Collection mechanic will be hand-painting the personal markings on the plane in the upcoming days.
In total, Wagner shot down nine confirmed enemy aircraft and two V-1s. Tragically, he was killed while chasing a V-1 “buzz bomb” in heavy fog when his speeding Tempest fighter struck the ground in July of 1944. He was 29 years old.
Cory Graff is the military aviation curator at the Flying Heritage Collection.