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Fellowship of the Bellows of Brazil

Having received many enquiries about this organisation, I felt it was time they had their own Page. The information below comes from books and research by those named below. It is presented very much as it was received, with only some general editing.
Stephen Fryer

A brief history of the "Fellowship of the Bellows of Brazil"

Sent in by Paulo Pinotti (with additions from an article in Time Magazine)

After the outbreak of WW2, some British citizens living in Brazil, looked for a way to help the UK in the war. They created the "Spitifire Fund", with the main aim being to raise donations from public subscriptions to buy Spitifires for the RAF. The aircraft bought with these donations were named according to who raised the funds and this was painted (in regulation 4 inch letters) in white or yellow on the side of the engine or under the canopy.

In November 1940, TOM SLOPER (from "Sloper" a famous Brazilian department store of that time) began a telephone campaign to obtain more donations. This was a complete success and became known as "Fellowship of the Bellows". It soon won direct help from Thomas Impy and Lionel Cole, (Board members of the Brazilian Telephone Company)

The main body of the group were students and shop workers. Each member of the "Bellows" paid a monthly subscription. The club eventually reach ten Brazilian States and in 1942 raised the amount of 80.000 sterling pounds.

Until January 1943 about 10 Sptifires were bought, some MK V and other MK IX.

August 2007

Following a small item broadcast on one of our local radio stations (BBC Radio Devon) I was contacted by Judy Goldup, who told me that her Father had been a member of the "Bellows of Brazil". Although only a young girl at the time, She remembered her Father wearing label badges with the 'Bellows' Symbol on, and that depending on the level of monies raised, you got a different design of badge.

And yes, She had the badges! And here they are:

The badges all carry a 'Bellows' symbol, and they are enamel on a metal ground. They are different colours and overall design. Judy was unable to say in which order they were achieved. Of course we would like to know, so does anyone out there know!

April 2012:
I have been lucky enought to purchase some badges on ebay and we are now fairly confident we know the order and the names of the badges.

The following is additional information taken from an article in Time Magazine, first published on Monday, Dec. 30, 1940. My thanks to Jerry Brewer who spotted it!

"Whiffs, Puffs and Snuffs"

"Casually, but with the instinct of an oldtime newspaperman making a scoop, Lord Beaverbrook referred last week in his report on British aircraft production to a new British fighter: the Whirlwind (specifications still secret). And he stated: "All the fighters and all the bombers that we lost during the months the battle has raged over Britain have been paid for in full, completely and entirely, by public subscription."

That new name and that proud statement brought gusty joy to a hilarious new sodality lately war-born in, of all places, the Argentine. In Buenos Aires two months ago a group of young Britons and Anglo-Argentines, mostly junior executives in Ernst, Berg & Cia. (advertising agency), formed, half in fun and half in earnest, the Fellowship of the Bellows. Aim: "to raise the wind" for purchasing Hurricane and other fighter planes for the R. A. F. Method: each member contributes one Argentine centavo (4¢) for each Axis plane downed during the month. Thus, in October the Fellowship's 3,000 members each paid in 288 centavos or 2.88 pesos (72¢) for the 288 enemy planes notched up by the R. A. F. that month. This totaled some $2,100 or just over £500. By the end of November the membership was 15,000. The November score was 293 enemy planes, the take better than £2,500. (A Hurricane or Spitfire costs about £5,000.) By the end of December the Buenos Aires boosters expect 20,000 members. Meantime their Fellowship of the Bellows has blown into Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile.

Aside from willingness to contribute, prime requisite for F. o. B. membership is to be "a fellow being with a bellow feeling" to enjoy windy punning and complex ritual. Payment of one peso initiation fee makes the joiner a Whiff (all non-joiners are Snuffs, ritualistically defined as "infinitely worse than a cross-eyed toad with athlete's foot"). A Whiff becomes a Puff when he pays his first month's levy. A Puff becomes a Gust when, after his entry, 1,000 planes have been shot down and he has paid in ten pesos. When 5,000 planes are down and 50 pesos paid in, a Gust becomes a Hurricane. When 10,000 planes are down and 100 pesos paid, the Order of the Bellows is bestowed. But no joiner may "blow himself to Puffdom and other exalted ranks" by prepayment or overpayment of dues. All contributions are gladly accepted but the contributor's promotion can proceed only at the pace set for him by the R. A. F. after he signs up.

Servants of the Bellows, "to be blown into office annually unless blown out," are High Wind (President) William Rumboll of Ernst, Berg & Cia.; Whirlwinds (Secretaries) George Ward and Alan Murray, both of London & South American Investment Trust; Receiver of Windfalls (Treasurer) and Keeper of the Windbag (Assistant Treasurer) Colin Shearer and George Collins, respectively."

Serial

Name

Code

Donator

Type

Baptism

BM161

Botafoga

ZT-

Rio(Rj)

Vb

06/42

BM634

O Bandeirante

JU-

São Paulo

Vb

06/42

BS545

O Guanany

MT-

São Paulo

IX C

11/42

BS546

BRAZIL 1

MT-J

Frater Fole

IX C

10/42

JG875

Bem-Te-Vi

?

Rio (Rj)

Vc

10/42

EP166

O Bandeirante

JU-N

?

Vb

06/42

?

Brazil 2

?

Frater Fole

?

11/42

?

Brazil 3

?

Frater Fole

?

11/42

?

Brazil 4

?

Frater Fole

?

04/43

?

Brazil 5

?

Frater Fole

?

04/43

EP166 flew with 111 squadron

"BS546 flew with 122 squadron, BS545 although had a code MT from 122, I never could confirm." (says Paulo)

In 1943 the funds were applied for the acquisition of Hawker Typhoon fighters and a complete squadron was equiped. 193 squadron received those fighters.

Finally in March, British Prime Minister Winston CHURCHILL and Brazilian Air Minister Mr. SALGADO FILHO, received the title of " Fellowship Honorable Members.

The Typhoons for 193 Squadron in 1943 were:

Serial No

Sqdn Code

DN267

DPB

DN256

MN252

DPM

MN926

DPJ

RB227

DPP

RB254

DPU

MN886

DPE

MP185

DPZ

SW493

DPS

JP802

MN712

DPB(?)

MN970

DPR

JP919

DP

PD500

DPS(?)

EJ967

DPD


193 Squadron Crest

The moto translates as: "To govern the air and the earth"

© Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the
Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office

A Brief History of 193 Squadron (repeated on the 193 Squadron page)

193 Squadron originally formed as a training squadron in WWI but to all intents and purposes, it re-formed at RAF Harrowbeer in September 1943. According to the Squadron's ORB, its early days were marked by a lack of pilots, and planes! New arrivees were forced into borrowing aircraft from other squadrons just to get flying practice. Eventually, the Squadron took delivery of the new Typhoon aircraft. (As you will see from the notes of Ed Mckay, these weren't very reliable aircraft to start with and several fatal accidents were recorded against them in the early days.)

After becoming fully operational, the Squadron was tasked with intercepting enemy raiders crossing the Channel and attacking South Coast targets. It also assisted in providing cover for anti-shipping missions and then later on, it was used in the fighter-bomer role. Once the war in Europe moved away from the Channel, 193 moved from RAF Harrowbeer to airfields in France, following the frontline as it moved eastwards. 193 Squadron disbanded in August 1945.

Additional information:
with permission from - http://www.amnesta.net/other/index_mcbride.html

"No. 193 Squadron existed, I believe, during the last war, simply as a training squadron and no records exist now to show the type of aircraft with which it was equipped, nor any of the operations in which it took part. During the demobilization in 1919, the Squadron lapsed again into just a number, and to all intents and purposes it really formed at Harrowbeer [Airfield, near Yelverton, 10 miles north of Plymouth, on the far southwest coast of England] in September 1942, with Typhoon aircraft. [193 Squadron was formed and mostly remained at Harrowbeer until February 20, 1944.]

It was designated one of the "Brazilian" Squadrons in honor of our ally (if such she is), Brazil. The inauguration ceremonies before the Brazilian staff in October 1943 at Harrowbeer are still remembered in the squadron with a great deal of hilarity. The day in question was stormy with a high wind and pouring with rain. A grand parade was held, however, and a number of aircraft handed over with due formality to the squadron, whilst the Ambassador and various other personages of note made speeches suitable to the occasion. A recording unit operated the while, preserving the words of the night for transmission to posterity, and incidentally to Brazil radio.

A ceremonial fly past had been arranged, but due to the appalling weather, it was thought best not to attempt it and as a last resort, the brilliant idea of a solemn "taxi past" the saluting base was formulated. When put into effect, a formulation of nine aircraft came weaving up the field, strung out in a Vic [an inflexible V-shape that was the RAF's standard tactical fighter formation until it was outmoded in the spring of 1941], past the ranks of rain soaked ground-staff and the very important personages; the whole unimpressive show being totally marred by the fact that one of the wing men, in his frantic effort to keep his position, taxied straight into the recording van and wrote off completely the records of the historic occasion, together with the van, and most of his aircraft. The remaining eight returned without further loss."

Additional information on the above 'accident' from Rod Davidge....

"I recall it was sgt Tommy Low who ran into a van and also cut the tail off with the prop of another Typhoon"

News footage of the Presentation ceremony

If you would like to have a copy of the short film shot on the day of the presentation (there were two camera crews at work and only one appears to have been lost as noted above) it is available from the Imperial War Museum Archive. (search for Brazilian Ambassador) It costs approximately 33 UK pounds. Stephen Fryer

The Brazilian Ambassador formally hands over the Typhoons to 193 Squadron on
16th October 1943. The person in front of the microphone is the Ambassador,
Mr. Moniz de Aragao.

Thanks to Paulo Pinotti
193 Squadron
Presentation by the Brazilian Ambassador of Typhoons purchased by the
Fellowship of the Bellows of Brazil

A series of stills taken from rare footage of the event, taken by Paramount News, and now in the Film Archive at the Imperial War Musueum. Our thanks for their permission to show them here.

Above: Guard of Honour and Band. A Bellman Hangar can be seen back right,
and the Fire Tender Shelter and Fuel Trailer & Tractor Shed back left.

Left: The Ambassador begins his speech.
The corner of the Watch Office is just visible back left.

Very rare shots of a 193 Squadron Typhoon taxing along the roadway towards the Watch Office and Bellman Hangar. To the left is the corner of the N.F.E. Store, in the centre background is the Cine Gun Camera building with the Technical Latrine just to its right. The building visible over the cars is marked on maps as the Battle Headquarters.

A few frames further on and one of the Squadron Offices (with Lorry in front) comes into view, with the Link Trainer to the right and another building, either the Parachute Store or Armoury in the background.

The final frames show the Bellman Hangar, with the 60,000 gallon water tower in the background.

Unfortunately, it isn't possible to see the identification letter on the Typhoon, nor read its number! So we don't know who the Pilot was.

Additional Information received from Ray Sturtivant

"The Brazilian branch was organised by the British Community in São Paulo. I do not know the total amount donated by the Brazilian branch, but the following Spitfires are known to have been donated:

0 BANDEIRANTE - originally BM634, officially presented to No.111 Sqn on 12 June 1942 at Debden by the Brazilian Ambassador, José Joaquin de Lima E'Silva de Aragao. It crashed 10 days later and was replaced by EP166

0 GUARANY - BS546

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.1 - BS545 (This carried its name on a Bellows motif)

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.II - serial unknown

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.III - serial unknown

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.IV - JL120

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.V - A Mk.V, serial JL???. Presented by the Brazilian Ambassador at RAF Hendon 10.4.43.

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.VI - JL161

There are four other presentation Spitfires, which appear to have Brazilian names and are therefore thought to be Bellows donations. No serials are known for any of them. They are:

CARIOCA, CASCADURA, PALMEIRA and SIERRA DE CARIOCA

I have been told that a Carioca is an inhabitant of Rio de Janeiro. Is this correct?

The Imperial War Museum have quite a number of photogrraphs of some of these aircraft:

O BANDEIRANTE BM634 IWM Photos CH5931, CH5938 & CH5945.

O BANDEIRANTE EP166. IWM Photos CH6825 , CH6826 & CH6827 with Sqn Ldr P.R.Wickham

O GUARANY BS546 IWM Photos CH8162 , CH8163 & CH8164 with P/O G.Le.Gall.

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.I BS545 IWM Photos CH7661 to CH7668, also CH7804 & CH7805 with Bellows emblem.

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.IV JL161 IWM Photo CH9118 to CH9122.

BELLOWS BRAZIL No.V Photos IWM CH9118/9

In addition, the Brazilian Bellows Fund also presented 9 Typhoons to No.193 Squadron at Harrowbeer in 1943. They each had the name BELLOWS BRAZIL painted on them.and included JP918 and JP919. The others are unknown.

Bellows Brazil also donated a Lockheed Hudson. This has been reported as 41-47172 BRITANNIA No.1, and has been stated to have(never received an RAF serial. However, I think US serial 42-47172 is more likely, and this became FK616 .

I have a note that the British Community in Rio de Janeiro subscribed £40,137 for aircraft, being part of a larger effort for naval ships, cables for Government Departments etc. I am not clear whether this was actually part of the Bellows donations, but it included at least two Spitfires, these being:

BM161 BOTAFOGO (said to be named after a fortress overlooking a beach of the same name and means literally "Spit fire" ) .

JG875 BEM-TE-VI (said to be named after a small bird, meaning "I see you")

Ray Sturtivant"