BRIXMIS Chipmunk 75th Anniversary Coin
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Chipmunk we have a created this special collectors coin to pay tribute to a very unique unit within the RAF during the heights of the Cold War. Based within the British Sector of Berlin at RAF Gatow, the Chipmunks of the RAF Gatow Station Flight were ostensibly there to provide refresher and continuation training to RAF pilots on ground tours as well as upholding the right to fly freely throughout the Berlin Control Zone.
But in truth these aircraft were some of the most secretive aircraft the RAF flew and were some of the most prolific gatherers of photographic intelligence relating to the Warsaw pact forces deployed within the zone.
Used for reconnaissance missions in co-operation with The British Commander-in-Chief’s Mission to the Soviet Forces of Occupation in Germany, commonly known as BRIXMIS, they were authorised, at the highest level to carry out covert photographic reconnaissance flights. All flights had to be notified to the Berlin Air Safety Center (BASC), a quadripartite organisation responsible for authorising all flights in the three Air Corridors and the Berlin Control Zone (BCZ). All the Chipmunk Flight Notification Cards in the BASC were stamped by the Soviets “Safety of Flight Not Guaranteed” due to their interpretation of the 1946 Agreement as excluding flights outside West Berlin. Within the BCZ were many Soviet and East German military airfields and other installations.
The 2 inch coin is packed full of detail and meaning. On the front face Chipmunk WG486 can be seen flying over the iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. On the reverse is a plan form of a Chipmunk along with an outline of East Germany with the three air corridors leading to essentially the island city of Berlin. The green background is in tribute to the olive drab coloured vehicles used by BRIXMIS when out ‘On Tour’ along with the yellow number plate featuring the Union Flag which these vehicles had to carry. Engraved around the edge of the coin are all the know serial numbers of the Chipmunks operated by the unit.
Chipmunk T.10 WG486 is still on strength with the RAF and can still be seen flying today with the BBMF at RAF Coningsby.
Designed by James Lawrence of Gingercake Creative.