Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 3: Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire, RCAF

Data current to 12 April 2021.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583160)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.  Built as X F Mk.1 4492, later converted to X F Mk. V. 

The Supermarine Spitfire is a single-seat fighter aircraft flown by Canadians in over a dozen RCAF and RAF Squadrons during and after the Second World War.  They served in every theatre of the war, from the UK, Italy, Malta, the Far and Middle East and on nearly all operations where fighters were needed on the battlefront.  Many variants of the Spitfires Canadians flew were built in England, using several engine and wing configurations.  The Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft with more than 20,351 examples of all variants being built.  It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war.  Nearly 60 remain airworthy, and many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world.  The Spitfires flown by RCAF Squadrons overseas were owned by the RAF.  Only eleven were actually on RCAF strength.

Supermarine 300 Spitfire F Mk. IA (2), (Serial No. L1090), (Serial No. R7193), Spitfire 329 F Mk. IIB (2), (Serial No. P8332), Spitfire Mk. VI (2), (Serial No. X4492), Spitfire PR Mk. VII (Serial No. X4555), Spitfire PR Mk. VII Type G (Serial No. R7143), Spitfire 359 Mk. VIII (1), (Serial No. JG480), Spitfire 379 Mk. XIV (1), (Serial No. TZ138), Spitfire 380 LF Mk. XVIE (1), (Serial No. TE214), Spitfire Mk. XIX (1), (Serial No. PM627), for a total of 11 aircraft on RCAF strength in Canada.

There were 24 marks of Spitfire and many sub-variants.  These covered the Spitfire in development from the Merlin to Griffon engines, the high-speed photo-reconnaissance variants and the different wing configurations.  More Spitfire Mk. Vs were built than any other type, with 6,487 built, followed by the 5,656 Mk. IXs.  Different wings, featuring a variety of weapons, were fitted to most marks; the A wing used eight .303-in (7.7-mm) machine guns, the B wing had four .303-in (7.7-mm) machine guns and two 20-mm (.79-in) Hispano cannon, and the C, or universal, wing could mount either four 20-mm (.79-in) cannon or two 20-mm (.79-in) and four .303-in (7.7-mm) machine guns.  As the war progressed, the C wing became more common.

One damaged Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, RAF (Serial No. ER824), "Miss Torbay", was assembled and flown in Newfoundland with parts from two other damaged Spitfires, RAF (Serial No. ES117) and RAF (Serial No. ER881), but none of them were officially on RCAF rolls.

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XXIV (Serial No. VN332)underwent cold weather tests with the RCAF Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE) in Alberta post war.  Sold, it flew as Reg. No. N7929A.

Spitfires in Canada

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583645)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IA, RCAF (Serial No. L1090), 6 Jun 1940.

All RAF aircraft were assigned an Air Ministry (AM) Form 78, which contained details of its service life.  Where known, the details of the Spitfires that saw service in Canada and with the RCAF overseas, are included in the data bank here.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. L1090), included the following data: Construction No. 305, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin III engine, first flew (FF) 24 Aug 1939, 36 Maintenance Unit (MU), shipped to the USA onboard the Sealand, 29 Aug 1939, flown to USAAC Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio.  Transferred to No. 1 Testing Centre, RCAF, Canada, May 1940.  Returned to the UK, 1 Aug 1940, to 3201 M, No. 14 School of Technical Training (SoTT), 13 May 1944, Category E (CE) damage, 4 Sep 1944.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 80).

 (RCAF Photo, Comox Air Museum)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IA, RCAF (Serial No. L1090), with Air Marshall William Avery Bishop, VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED.  He was Canada's top flying ace of the First World War, and a Victoria Cross recipient officially credited with 72 victories, making him the top Canadian and British Empire ace of the war.  His son flew Spitfires during the Second World War.

(RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IIB, RCAF (Serial No. P8332), coded LZ-O. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. P8332) included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin XII engine.  P8332 was a presentation aircraft, Baron (Soebang, Netherlands East Indies), 45 Maintenance Unit (MU), 29 Apr 1941, No. 222 Squadron, 21 May 1941, Air Service Training, Hamble (AST (H)), 27 Aug 1941, 82 MU 7 Dec 1941, shipped to Canada on the Manchester Esquire, 13 Apr 1942, Montreal, Quebec Ins, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, A/F A166.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 115).

 (Mike Filey Photo collection)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IIB, RCAF (Serial No. P8332), painted -A166, at old city hall Toronto, Ontario, ca 1943. 

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIB converted to Mk. VII (Serial No. P8332), (6173), built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), No. 711.  P8332 is currently on display in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, painted as an F Mk. IIB, coded ZD-L of No. 222 Squadron.  These are the colours she wore while serving with the Squadron in the Battle of Britain in 1940 and on to 1941.  P8332 was a "presentation" aircraft funded by the Netherlands East Indies, and carries the name "SOEBANG N.E.I.

(Griffin Collection via Mike Kaehler)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIB, converted to Mk. VII, RCAF (Serial No. P8332), No. 13 Squadron, RCAF, Downsview, Ontario, Aug/Sep 1946. 

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, RAF (Serial No. ER824), with Tropical airscoop, desert cam and equipment in 1942.  ER824 was built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF).   It went to 46 Maintenance Unit (MU) on 18 Oct 1942, then 82 MU on 18 Nov 1942 and was loaded on Empire Kingsley, 30 Nov 1942.

S/L Herbert J. Russel, an RCAF Engineering Officer at Torbay, Newfoundland, reported that this aircraft was one of several that had been strapped to the deck of a British Steam Merchant ship, "Empire Kingsley", when it was bound for the Caribbean.  The ship was caught in a storm that forced it to stop in St. John's, Newfoundland on Christmas eve.  He was directed to remove this damaged Spitfire and two others as well as a damaged Lockheed P-38 Lightning.  With the damaged aircraft removed, the ship continued on its journey.  The "Empire Kingsley" was eventually sunk a year later by a U-Boat, with nearly all of its crew lost.

The aircraft were transported to Torbay on 26 Dec 1942.  The Spitfire's bent propeller was straighted, and parts of the other two damaged Spitfires (Serial Nos. ES117) and (Serial No. ES881), were used to restore (Serial No. ER824), to flying condition ca 12 Feb 1943.  S/L R.R. "Bob" Norris had flown Spitfires in the Battle of Britain and he agreed to test fly the aircraft.  On 16 March 1943, he took ER824 up for the first of many flights.  It was also flown by Lal Parsons on 19 April 1942, and F/O HA Pattinson.  This aircraft had been one of a number of "Presentation Spitfires" donated by Kabala Province in Nigeria.  The restoration crew named her "Miss Torbay".  The remains of the other two damaged Spitfires were buried at Torbay.  

Apparently, once word got around that Canadians were flying a Spitfire in Newfoundland, the AOC in Halifax, "Black Mike" McKewen, immediately demanded it be shipped to Halifax.  It was eventually packed for shipment to Halifax by members of No. 125 Squadron, RCAF.   It was in Digby, Nova Scotia, for a brief period before it made its way back to the UK where an RAF Maintenance Unit (MU) shipped her to Canadians serving with No. 442 Squadron, RCAF, 23 Feb 1944, and later to No. 12 Ground Communications Group (GCF), 23 Apr 1944, who used it for training.  It still carried the name, "Miss Torbay", on the fuselage.  ER824 was sold for scrap to J. Dale on 8 Jul 1948.  (Bert Russell and Larry Milberry, CANAV Books)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. ER881), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 12 Maintenance Unit (MU), 27 Oct 1942, 82 MU, 11 Nov 1942, Empire Kingsley, 30 Nov 1942,
damaged in transit, offloaded at St. John's, Newfoundland, Dec 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. ES117), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 46 Maintenance Unit (MU), 18 Nov 1942, 76 MU, 21 Nov 1942, Empire Kingsley, 30 Nov 1942,
damaged in transit,
offloaded at St. John's, Newfoundland, Dec 1943.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583113)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. VII Type G, RCAF (Serial No. R7143), 13 (P) Squadron, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 14 Jan 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. R7143), included the following data: Construction No. 1470, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin III engine, Walsall, built as a Mk. I, first flew (FF) 20 Feb 1941, 6 Maintenance Unit (MU) 20 Feb 1941, Director General of Research and Development (DGRD), Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough, 18 Mar 1941, 1416 Flight, 2 Apr 1941, Heston Aircraft Ltd (HAL), 2 Apr 1941, converted to  Photo Reconnaissance (PR) Mk. IV, Rolls-Royce Hucknall (R-RH), 7 Sep 1941, converted to F Mk. VA, No. 140 Squadron 3 Oct 1941, Flying Accident Category B (FACB) damage, 10 Mar 1942, No. 1 Contractors (Civilian) Repair Unit (CRU), 6 MU, 1 Jun 1942, converted to PR Mk. VII Type G, Benson 29 Oct 1942, 47 MU, 12 Dec 1943, armament removed.  Shipped to Canada on the Manchester Progress, 16 Jan 1943, in Canada 10 Feb 1943.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 88).

 (DND Archives Photo, PL-l16608)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 22 May 1943.

 (Comox Air Force Museum Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. VII Type G, RCAF (Serial No. R7143).  This aircraft was not flown in combat in France in 1944.  It was converted to a PR Mk. VII Type G in early 1942 with all of its armament removed and it was in Canada in 1944.  The photo was taken by Red Hill at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario.  It was used by the Photographic Flight and went to No. 9 (T) Group, post war.  R7143 was flown by the RCAF from 1943 to 1947.  This Spitfire and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator behind it were both based at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario.  R7143 was used to shoot down Japanese balloon bombs.

 (Griffon Collection Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. VII Type G, RCAF (Serial No. R7143), Downsview, Ontario, 1946.

 (Griffon Collection Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. VII Type G, RCAF (Serial No. R7143), Downsview, Ontario, 1946.  R7143 was fitted with an oblique camera port for the photo-reconaissance role, but went through a number of conversions from Mk. 1A to PR Mk. VII during its service life, 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. R7143), included the following data: Construction No. 1470, built at Eastleigh (EA), as an eight-gun fighter powered by a Merlin III engine, Walsall, built as a Mk. I, first flew (FF) 20 Feb 1941, 6 Maintenance Unit (MU) 20 Feb 1941, Director General of Research and Development (DGRD), Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough, 18 Mar 1941, 1416 Flight, 2 Apr 1941, Heston Aircraft Ltd (HAL), 2 Apr 1941, converted to Photo Reconnaissance (PR) Mk. IV, with a Merlin 45 engine, and guns removed, Rolls-Royce Hucknall (R-RH), 7 Sep 1941, converted to F Mk. VA.  Returning to Benson it flew with No. 140 Squadron 3 Oct 1941, Flying Accident Category B (FACB) damage, 10 Mar 1942, No. 1 Contractors (Civilian) Repair Unit (CRU), 6 MU, 1 Jun 1942, converted to PR Mk. VII Type G, low-level, short-range armed reconaissance conversion initially known as the PR Type G, then redesignated to PR Mk. IG, and finally  PR Mk. VII Type G, 29 Oct 1942 at Benson, Osfordshire, UK.  While at Benson, the aircraft suffered Category B (CB) damage in a flying accident.  P/O F.J. Blackwood was on a formation practice flight when he landed at Benson in bad visibly, resulting in a misjudgment of the field and runway.  He tried to skid R7143 around to prevent striking a boundary hedge resulting in the undercarriage collapsing.  After the repair, the aircraft went to No. 47 Maintenance Unit at Sealand where all guns were removed, 12 Dec 1943.  R7143 was shipped to Canada on the Manchester Progress, 16 Jan 1943, in Canada 10 Feb 1943.  R7143 was one of three Spitfires delivered to Canada on 10 Feb 1943.  There it was assigned to No. 13 Squadron, at Rockcliffe, Ontario.  In September 1944, another landing accident led to a prolongued repair which lasted until June 1945, and it was then assigned to No. 9 Transport Group.  

R7143 was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in September, 1947, where it served on Air Search Rescue duties. It became an instructional airframe at the RCN Air Electrical School at HMCS Stadacona.  It was reduced to scrap in 1949-1950 by the school staff.  (Pat Murphy; and, Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, SPITFIRE, The History, (Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 88).

 (DND Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. X4492) included the following data: Construction No. 1296, built in Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin III engine, first flew (FF) 14 Sep 1940, Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough 17 Sep 1940, Photographic Development Unit (PDU), Heston Aircraft Ltd (HAL), converted to Photo Reconaissance (PR) Mk. IV (W), Rolls-Royce Hucknall (R-RH), 18 Apr 1941 converted to F Mk. VA, Merlin 45 engine, No. 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) 29 Apr 1941, 8 Maintenance Unit (MU) 15 Nov 1941, converted to PR Mk. VII Type F, Aeroplane and Armament Experiment Establishment (AAEE), Boscombe Down (BDn), converted to prototype F Mk. VI, Merlin 47 engine, extended wingtips, known as experimental a/c 152, to Regional Operation Centre? (ROC).  Trials with 3 and 4-blade propellers.  No. 140 Squadron, 12 Feb 1942, 47 Maintenance Unit (MU), RAF station Sealand, 5 Dec 1942.  Manchester Dockyards, 9 Jan 1943.

Shipped to Montreal, Quebec, on the Manchester Progress, 16 Jan 1943, arriving 10 Feb 1943.  Unloaded and moved to Ottawa 17 Feb 1943.  Taken on Charge (TOC) with No. 3 Training Command.  No. 13 Squadron, No. 7 Photo Wing RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 9 Apr 1943.  X4492 had a 36-inch telephoto camera installed.  First documented flight in Canada.  Flown to Toronto the next day.  It was used in trials, Mar to Jul 1943.  It was in Saint John, New Brunswick, then flown to RCAF Station Rivers, Manitoba, to photograph the total eclipse of the sun on 9 July 1945.  It was equipped with an F24 oblique camera installed to sight upwards.  Pilot F/Lt Tom Percival.  X4492 was flown over Lake Winnipeg at 35,000 feet, a record breaking altitude record for photographing a solar eclipse.  It went into unit storage on 31 Dec 1945.  It took part in the Toronto Airshow, 30 Jun 1946.  No. 9 Transport Group, RCAF station Rockcliffe, 15 Jul 1946.  The aircraft damaged its propellers on take-off at RCAF Rtation Rockcliffe, Ontario, 17 Sep 1946.  It is recorded as awaiting disposal, 11 Oct 1946.  Air Search and Rescue duties, 9 Jan 1947.  Royal Canadian Navy, Director of Naval Services. 2 Sep 1947.  Eventual allocation to RCN/VR unit unknown.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 92).

 (DND Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583883)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), Op Eclipse, RCAF, 20 Aug 1945.

 (DND Photo)

Avro Anson, Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), North American B-25 Mitchell Mk. II, No. 13 (P) Squadron, taking part in Operation Eclipse to photograph a solar eclipse, 1945.

The RCAF carried out observations of the 9 July 1945 eclipse of the sun from four aircraft: a Mitchell, a Spitfire, and two Ansons.  This effort was part of a series of ionospheric observations sponsored by the Canadian Radio
Wave
Propagation Committee.  Although the focus of this expedition was not strictly on astronomy, the story is a good illustration of the technology that was in use during the 1940's, which had improved very much since the 1932 eclipse observations.

 (DND Photo)

Operation Eclipse composite photo, 9 July 1945.

Three of the aircraft involved in the RCAF operation were outfitted with a total of seven standard cameras, of the type
commonly used at that time for aerial photography.  The one of the Ansons carried a motion picture camera.  Spectrographic and polarization measurements were made, as well as visual and infrared photographs of the solar corona and 
prominences.  The altitude of the aircraft ranged between 17,000 ft and 34,000 ft.  The cameras were mounted behind special plate glass windows, and all except one were adjusted to automatically take exposures, once started.

Three of the aircraft were kept on the proper heading using a modification to the pilot's gun sight; the pilot kept the
sun centered on the sighting rings, which kept the cameras pointing at the sun.  The spectra obtained during the mission
may have been the first ever taken from an aircraft.  (Lee Walsh)

 (DND Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.

 (DND Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3523323)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), in flight, 26 Feb 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL 20234)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), struck off charge (SOC), 2 Sep 1947.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL 16608)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583158)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VI, RCAF (Serial No. X4492), 26 Feb 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL-16227)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. VII, RCAF (Serial No. X4555), in its original PRU scheme, on display in a May 1943 Victory Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. X4555) included the following data: Construction No. 1185, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin III engine, first flew (FF) 25 Sep 1940, 6 Maintenance Unit (MU) 26 Sep 1940, No. 92 Squadron, 28 Sep 1940, Category 2 (C2) damage on operations, 1 Nov 1941, General Aircraft Ltd (GAL), No. 132 Squadron 16 Feb 1941, Heston Aircraft Ltd (HAL) 29 Apr 1942, converted to Photo Reconnaissance (PR) Mk. IV, Merlin 45 engine, 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit (PRU), Benson 15-11-1942, converted to PR Mk. VII Type G, 47 MU 3 Jan 1943, shipped to Canada on the Tom Couston, 10 Mar 1943, in service with the RCAF, 4 Apr 1944, equipped with a 34-inch telephoto camera installed for trials.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 92).

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. VII, RCAF (Serial No. X4555), RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1943.

  (J. Griffin Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. JG480), 18 SFTS, Gimli, Manitoba, 1944.   SJG480 flew with No. 1 Winter Experimental and Training Flight that was located at RCAF Station Gimli, Manitoba.  The flight formed at Kapuskasing, Ontario, on 5 Jul 1943 to test aircraft under winter conditions.  The weather was not cold enough so the flight transferred to Gimli in 1944 and later in 1945 formalized as WEE flight at Edmonton, Alberta.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. JG480) included the following data: Construction No. 5054, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin 66 engine, first flew (FF) 14 Nov 1943, Controller of Research and Development (CRD), Vickers Armstrong, Worthy Down (VAWD), 12 Dec 1943, 52 Maintenance Unit (MU), 28 Jan 1944, RCAF Test and Development Unit, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 26 Feb 1944, winterization tests, 3 Mar 1944.  JG480 became General Instruction (G) airframe No. A517.  Last reported with the RCN at Esquimalt, BC.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 296).

 (World War Photos)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. JG480).

 (Gary Cook Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. JG480), Lethbridge, Alberta, 1945.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. JF480).

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. JF480) included the following data: Construction No. 4321, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 engine, first flew (FF) 13 May 1943, 8 Maintenance Unit (MU), 14 May 1943, 76 MU, 29 May 1943, SS707, 15 June 1943, Casablanca 29 June 1943, Middle East 1 Sep 1943, North West African Air Forces, 1 Nov 1943,  Vickers Armstrong, Worthy Down (VAWD), Dec 1943, 52 MU Jan 1944, RCAF Test and Development Unit, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 26 Feb 1944, winterization tests, struck off charge (SOC) 30 Jun 1945.  (Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, SPITFIRE, The History (Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000), p. 292). 

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVE, RCAF (Serial No. TZ138), 1948.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. TZ138), included the following data: Construction No. 6S.676505, built at Aldermaston (ALD), powered by a Griffon 65 engine, Rolls-Royce Hucknall (R-RH), No. 47 Maintenance Unit, RAF Station Sealand in June 1945.  TZ138 was shipped to Canada on the SS Alder Province, 11 Nov 1945.  In Canada, transported by rail to Alberta 11 Dec 1945.  TZ138 was prepared for cold weather tests with 47 Maintenance Unit (MU), flown 25 Jan 1946 by F/Lt Laubma, at RCAF Station Edmonton, Alberta.  Transferred to North West Air Command 11 Feb 1946.  Engine replaced summer 1946,  Second set of trials began 26 Nov 1946, ended 28 Feb 1947.  This aircraft had logged a total flight time of 41.55 hrs, when it nosed over while taxiing in the snow and damaged its propeller.  de Havilland Tiger Moth skis were installed for take-off only, with the skis being dropped after the aircraft was airborne.  The heaters for the gun were inadequate.  TZ138 was struck off strength (SOS) 31 Mar 1949.  It was sold, Reg. No. CF-GMZ, then went to Minneapolis, Minnisota, USA in 1960, later to Massachusetts, Reg. No. N138TZ.  It took part in the National Air races at Cleveland, Ohio.  Currently Reg. No. C-GSPT, based at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver, BC.  (SPITFIRE, The History.  Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000, p. 428).

 (SDASM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVE, RCAF (Serial No. TZ138), Reg. No. CF-GMZ, Racer No. 80, 1949.  TZ138 was purchased in April 1949 by Ken Brown and James McArthur, who made plans to enter the Tinnerman Air Races held during the 1949 National Air Races at Cleveland, Ohio. The buyers obtained the almost new aircraft from Canadian surplus War Assets for a sum of $1,250.  TZ138 was registered as CF-GMZ on 25 Aug 1949.  It received a DOT certificate of serviceability and was approved for Class “F” racing.  This Spitfire was painted with a blue spinner and had red and blue striping on the fuselage, red propeller tips and the Imperial Oil logo forward of the cockpit. Just behind the propeller, the letters EDMONTON * CANADA were painted in red, and below it the slogan The Crossroads of the World with the letters painted in black.  The canopy frame was painted blue and it No. 80 racing number was painted on the fusleage in black. 

This ex-RCAF Spitfire was the only aircraft to participate in the race retaining all of its original standard features.  CF-GMZ placed 3rd in the 1949 Tinnerman Air Races at Cleveland, with a top speed of 359.565mph.  The winning aircraft in that race was a modified Goodyear F2G Corsair piloted by ex-Navy pilot Ben McKillen, wtih a top speed of 386.069 mph.  TZ138 was later registered in Richmond BC as C-GSPT.

 (SDASM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVE, RCAF (Serial No. TZ138), Reg. No. CF-GMZ, Racer No. 80, 1949.  

 (SDASM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVE, RCAF (Serial No. TZ138), Reg. No. CF-GMZ, Racer No. 80, 1949.

 (Pat Murphy Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVE, RCAF (Serial No. TZ138), Reg. No. CF-GMZ, Richmond, British Columbia.

 (Richard Dumigan Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, Toronto, Ontario, alongside HMCS Haida, ca 1972, now in Sweden.  This Spitfire was delivered to the Royal Air Force as in 1945, and served until it was struck off strength in 1951.  It was transferred to the Indian Air Force as (Serial No. HS964) in 1953 and served until it was struck off strength in 1957.  It went on display in the Indian AF Museum, Palam AB, New Dehli, India, from 1957-1971.  This Spitfire was acquired by John Weir with the Canadian Fighter Pilots Association, Downsview, Ontario, on 3 Feb 1971.  The Spitfire arrived disassembled in a Lockheed C-130 Hercules.  After undergoing a static restoration, it was displayed as (Serial No, PM627), coded YO-X & DB-X at the Canadian National Exhibit Grounds, Toronto, from 1972-1973, and at the Ontario Science Center, Toronto, Ontario, from Nov 1973-1978.  It was later displayed at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario, in 1980.  The Spitfire went to David C. Tallichet, MARC, Chino, California in 1982.  It then went to the Flygvapenmuseum, Malmslatt, Sweden, in October 1982, where it is on display as RSwAF as Fv31051.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, Toronto, Ontario, alongside HMCS Haida, June 1971.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, Toronto, Ontario, alongside HMCS Haida, June 1971.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, Toronto, Ontario, alongside HMCS Haida, June 1971.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, Toronto, Ontario, alongside HMCS Haida, June 1971.

 (Author Photos, 1971)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, Toronto, Ontario, alongside HMCS Haida, June 1971.

 (DND Photo via Jim Bates)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), coded YO-X, blue paint scheme, Toronto, Ontario, 1974.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. PM627), included the following data: Construction No. 6S.683524, built at Supermarine (Super), powered by a Griffon 66 engine, 6 Maintenance Unit (MU) from 20 Sep 1945 to 15 June 1952, BRSD Reserve Pool 26 May 1949, No. 2 Squadron, British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), 10 Nov 1949,  Gatwick refurbishment, 9 Mar 1951, 9 MU, sold Air Service Training (AST) 15 Feb 1953, to the Israeli Air Force (IAF), (Serial No. HS964), to Canada, then to Sweden.  (Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, SPITFIRE, The History (Key Books Ltd, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK, 2000), p. 462).

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX, RCAF (Serial No. PM627), Royal Swedish Air Force (Serial No. 51), coded 11, Flyvapenmuseum, Linkoping, Sweden.

Supermarine Spitfires flown by the RCAF Overseas during the Second World War (on loan from the RAF)

RCAF Squadrons that flew Spitfires included Nos. 400, 401, 402, 403, 411, 412, 414, 416, 417, 421, 430, 441, 442 and 443 Squadrons from 1940-1946, and No. 13 Squadron from 1944-1946.

No. 400 Squadron, RCAF, was formed as No. 10 Army Co-Operation Squadron at Toronto, Ontario on 5 October 1932.  On 15 November 1937, it was renumbered No. 110 "City of Toronto" Army Co-Operation Squadron.

When the squadron was called out on active service 3 September 1939, it first deployed to RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, now Ottawa, for conversion to the Westland Lysander aircraft.  The new CO at that time was S/L Wilbur Dennison Van Vliet, an experienced peacetime flier.  By early February 1940, the squadron was ready to depart to the UK, travelling by rail to Halifax and then by steamship across the Atlantic on 15 February.  The squadron was the first RCAF unit to go overseas and they were given an official send-off, in Ottawa, by the Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, and the Minister of National Defence, Ian Alistair Mackenzie.  A year later it was re-designated as No. 400 Army Co-Operation Squadron on 1 March 1941, in recognition of the fact it was the first squadron to deploy overseas.  S/L Van Vliet returned to Canada, was promoted to Group Captain and died from a heart attack at age 39 in 1942 while serving as the Air Officer Commanding the Western Region of Canada, apparently in a training aircraft with a student at the controls. 

During the war, No. 400 Squadron flew the Westland Lysander, Curtiss Tomahawk, North American Mustang, de Havilland Mosquito and the Supermarine Spitfire, primarily in the armed and unarmed reconnaissance role.  Later in the war, the squadron also flew air interdiction operations.  At the end of the war, No. 400 Squadron was disbanded on 7 August 1945, at a captured airfield in Lüneburg, Germany.  (Wikipedia)

 (IWM Photo CL 1718)

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XI (Serial No. PL883), of No. 400 Squadron, RCAF, taxiing through a flooded area at B78, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, ca Dec 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. PL883), included the following data: built at Aldermanston (ALD), powered by a Merlin 70 engine, 6 Maintenance Unit (MU), 3 Jul 1944, No. 400 Squadron, RCAF, Category AC (CAC) damage on operations 26 Jul 1944, Benson, 14 Oct 1944.  Destroyed in an air raid, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Category E (CE) damage, 1 Jan 1945.

 (IWM Photo, CL1675)

A photographic-reconnaissance pilot of No. 400 Squadron, RCAF, climbs into his Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XI, partially surrounded by water following heavy rains at B78/Eindhoven, Holland, fall 1944.

No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, began as No. 1 Squadron RCAF, when it was formed as a fighter unit at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, on 21 September 1937 with Armstrong Whitworth Siskin aircraft.  The squadron was formed from the Fighter Flight of No. 3 (Bomber) Squadron.  In August 1938, the squadron moved to Calgary, Alberta and was re-equipped with Hawker Hurricane fighters aircraft in February 1939.  While stationed in Calgary, the squadron was commanded by S/L Elmer Garfield Fullerton.  It was mobilized at St-Hubert, Quebec, on 10 September 1939, and on 5 November 1939 it moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The unit began as a permanent peacetime unit which, augmented by personnel from RCAF No. 115 Squadron (Auxiliary), arrived at its first base in the UK, Middle Wallop, on 21 June 1940.  It had brought its own Hawker Hurricanes from Canada, and as these were not fully up to UK standard, the squadron was non-operational until mid-August when it moved to RAF Northolt.  At the time the squadron comprised 27 officers (21 pilots) and 314 airmen.  To gain experience of Fighter Command operations, S/L E.A. McNab, Commanding Officer, flew on operations attached to No. 111 Squadron, RAF, and claimed a German Heinkel He 111 bomber destroyed on 11 August 1940.

In July 1940, the squadron moved to Croydon.  The squadron's début was inauspicious when two Bristol Blenheims of RAF Coastal Command were accidentally shot down on 24 August, and three crewmen killed.

On its second patrol on 26 August 1940 it met with 25–30 German Dornier bombers and was credited with three destroyed and three damaged in the fight.  However, three of the squadron's aircraft were shot down and one pilot (F/O R.L Edwards), was killed. The squadron experienced a fairly high aircraft loss rate during the end of August and into September as the squadron battled against the German formations over south London.

On 21 September the squadron participated in the first attempt at a wing formation operation by the Northholt-based squadrons, with No. 229 Squadron, RAF and No. 303 (Polish) Squadron, although no enemy aircraft were encountered.  By 27 September, although squadron pilots had downed seven bombers, only six aircraft remained operational by the end of the day.  On 11 October the depleted squadron was moved to RAF Prestwick in Scotland and its operational activity was coastal patrol work over the Clyde approaches.

During the 53 days it participated in the battle the squadron claimed 30 enemy aircraft destroyed, probably destroyed eight, and damaged 35.  It flew 1,694 sorties (1,569 operational hours and 1,201 non-operational), lost three pilots killed, thirteen wounded, 17 aircraft FB/Cat.3 and 10 Cat. 2.  The most successful pilots were F/L Gordon McGregor (five kills), S/L E. A. McNab (four and one shared), F/O B. D. 'Dal' Russel (four and one shared), F/O J.W. Kerwin (three) and F/O A.D. Nesbit (three).  Three DFCs were awarded.  The squadron was withdrawn to Scotland in October 1940.  On 2 November McGregor took over as CO from McNab.

The squadron moved south again in February 1941 when it arrived at RAF Digby.  Here, on 1 March 1940, No 1 Squadron RCAF was renumbered to No. 401 Squadron.  The squadron had replaced its Hurricanes with Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIs in September 1941, Spitfire Mk. Vs in late 1941 and in July 1942 some of the first examples of the new Spitfie Mk. IX.  Operating from Digby with No 12 Group Fighter Command until October 1941, it saw little action, but it then moved south to RAF Biggin Hill and remained in No. 11 Group, carrying out offensive operations over Occupied Europe until January 1943.

On 21 October No. 401 Squadron's first loss of this phase of operations was F/S B.F. Whitson, taken prisoner after he was shot down over Saint-Omer, France.  On 27 October the squadron was operating as high cover to the Biggin Hill Wing, and were 'bounced' by I and III Gruppe, JG 26, led by Oberst Adolf Galland.  Five Spitfires were lost, with F/O C. A. B. Wallace, P/O J.A. Small and Sgt. S. L. Thompson killed, and P/O C.W. Floody and Sgt. B. G. Hodgkinson both taken prisoner.  On 8 November 1941 on the last mass fighter sweep of the year the squadron was attacked by I. and III./JG 26, and F/O J. C. Weir (prisoner of war) and Sgt. R. W. Gardner (killed) were lost over Le Touquet, France, shot down by Fw. Babenz and Leut. Uibacker of JG 26.  A two-squadron sweep with No. 72 Squadron over France on 22 November saw claims for two Messerschmitt Bf 109 and three Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters destroyed (I./JG 26 lost one Bf 109 and a Fw 190 crash-landed) for F/O H.A. Sprague (POW).

On 12 February 1942 following the 'Channel Dash' of the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in Operation Donnerkeil, six Swordfish of No. 825 FAA Squadron were to meet with an escort from Nos. 64 and 411 Squadrons (Hornchurch) and Nos. 72, 124 and 401 Squadrons (Biggin Hill) over Manston at mid-day.  The escort missed the rendezvous, however, although No. 401 Squadron pilots later claimed two Messerschmitt Bf 109s destroyed, for the loss of Sgt. Levesque, who was taken prisoner.

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter force continued to take a toll of the Fighter Command squadrons, No. 401 Squadron being no exception.  On 28 April P/O J. A. Ferguson: (POW) and P/O G. B. Whitney (killed) were lost although P/O Don Blakeslee, an RCAF-enlisted American, claimed two 'probables'.  On 1 May the squadron lost two more Spitfires to JG 2 over Le Havre while, on 1 June 1942, when a section of No. 401 intercepted and shot down two Hawker Typhoon fighters of No. 56 Squadron, RAF, one pilot was killed.  In June the squadron received some of the first Spitfire Mk. IXs, capable of taking on the Focke-Wulf Fw 190A on more or less equal terms.  On 19 August during Operation Jubilee two probables and three damaged were claimed.  On 8 November F/L Don Morrison was shot down and badly wounded in combat against units of JG 26, losing a leg and being repatriated in 1943.  Morrison's tally of 5.33 aircraft destroyed, four 'probables' and four damaged was No. 401 Squadron's highest since the Battle of Britain.

No. 401 Squadron moved to RAF Catterick early in 1943, where it took part in training and coastal patrols for four months before returning to No. 11 Group in late May.  Here, the squadron reverted to Spitfire Mk. IXs and became part of No. 126 Wing, No. 83 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force (2ATAF).  The unit resumed operational flying from RAF Redhill in June, and RAF Staplehurst in August and Biggin Hill on October.  Operations prior to D-Day were flown from RAF Tangmere.  On 15 March four JG 26 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s were claimed (three were actually lost).

On 7 June eight aircraft were claimed destroyed, and on 18 June the squadron moved to the B-4 airstrip at Beny-sur-Mer, France.  Six more fighters were claimed downed on 28 June.  No. 401 Squadron pilots shot down three fighters of JG 26 on 7 July.  The squadron's 100th victory was notched up on 20 July, while seven more Messerschmitt Bf 109s were shot down on 27 July over Caen.

The squadron increasingly operated in the fighter-bomber role, ground attack and armed reconnaissance operations, culminating in operations supporting operations over Nijmegen, and the ground fighting in Arnhem in the Netherlands in September 1944.  S/L R. I. A. 'Rod' Smith, an experienced Malta 'ace', was posted from No. 412 Squadron and took command in September.  On 29 September the squadron surprised some thirty Messerschmitt Bf 109s attacking a Hawker Typhoon formation, and claimed at least nine destroyed for one loss.

On 5 October, a five-strong squadron patrol encountered a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter of KG 51 and shot it down, the pilot, Hpt. Hans-Christoph Buttmann, was killed.  This was the first victory over this type credited to either the RAF or RCAF.  During late 1944 the unit operated from 'B-80' airfield in Volkel and then 'B-88', near Heesch, in the Netherlands.

In the course of the German Operation Bodenplatte, the mass ground-attack of 1 January 1945 by the Luftwaffe, No. 409 Squadron claimed nine of the attackers shot down, making the tally since D-Day 76.5 aircraft destroyed, three probables and 37 damaged.  The next day S/L W. T. Klersy was appointed Commanding Officer.  The squadron caught Focke-Wulf Fw 190s taking off from Twente airfield on 14 January and five fighters of I./JG 1 were shot down for one loss.  F/L L. J. Mackay claimed three.  On 23 January No. 401 Squadron pilots claimed three Arado Ar 234 jet-bombers of III./KG 76 over Achmer airfield.

Operations were restricted in the early part of 1945 due to bad weather, but from the end of February, No. 409 Squadron was heavily involved in the offensive until the end of the war.  The squadron received a few Spitfire Mk. XIVs in May 1945, but Mk. XVIs became standard equipment until the squadron disbanded at Faßberg in Germany on 3 July 1945.  20 April saw No. 401 Squadron claim eight Messerschmitt Bf 109s spotted taking off from a grass airstrip near Schwerin, and another five claimed later in the day over Hagenau aerodrome.  On 3 May, No. 401 Squadron pilots attacked aircraft on the ground North West of Kiel, claiming 12 Junkers Ju 52, two Heinkel He 111s and a Junkers Ju 87 destroyed.  These were the Squadron's last claims of the war.

The squadron ended the war as 2TAF's top scoring unit, claiming 112 aerial victories between 6 June 1944 and 5 May 1945.  Their total score for the war was 186.5 confirmed, 29 of which were claimed during 1940 when operating as No. 1 Squadron, RCAF.

 (RCAF Photo, PL 10627)

No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron, RCAF, Spitfire pilots.  No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron, later No. 410 Squadron, formed the basis of many fighter squadrons that protected Canada’s coast and continued the fight in Europe.  Of the 24 pilots who survived to 1941, 16 went on to become squadron commanding officers.

 (RAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. W3834), coded YO-Q, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, in England, ca summer 1943. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. W3834), included the following data: built at Eastleigh (EA), this aircraft was powered by a Merlin 45 engine.  It first flew (FF) on 2 Sep 1941.  38 Maintenance Unit (MU) 5 Sep 1941, No. 266 Squadron, coded UO-P, 13 Sep 1941, No. 154 Squadron 23 Feb 1942, Flying Accident Category C (FAAC), 12 Apr 1942, Air Service Training, Exeter (ASTE), Merlin 45 installed, 5 USAAF, 6 Aug 1942, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, 10 Mar 1943, No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, 23 May 1943, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, 1 June 1943, No. 126 Wing, 10 Aug 1943, Heston Aircraft Ltd (HAL), 12 Nov 1943, No. 1659 Conversion Unit (CU), 5 Jan 1945, struck off charge (SOC) 17 Sep 1945.

 (DND Photo via Chris Charland)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, (Serial No. AA926), coded YO-E, "Jersey", from No. 401 "Ram" (F) Squadron, flown by Pilot Officer Ian Ormstorn.  Ian had his wife’s name, "Marguerite", painted on the port side. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. AA926), included the following data: Construction No. 2217, High Post Aerodrome (HPA), powered by a Merlin 45 engine, first flew (FF) 23 Oct 1941, 38 MU 24 Oct 1941, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, 28 Oct 1941. Overshot landing and groundlooped, undercarriage collapsed, Gravesend, Flying Accident Category C (FAAC) damage, 11 May 1942, Category E (CE) damage, 18 Aug 1942, struck off charge (SOC), flying hours (FH) 235.10hrs.

 (DND Photo via Airman Tachel)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, (Serial No. AA926), coded YO-E, "Jersey", from No. 401 "Ram" (F) Squadron, flown by Pilot Officer Ian Ormstorn.  Ian had his wife’s name, "Marguerite", painted on the port side. 

 (DND Photo via Airman Tachel)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, (Serial No. W3131), coded YO-N, from No. 401 "Ram" (F) Squadron, flown by Pilot Officer A.E. Harley.

(RCAF Photo via Francois Dutil)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. AD234), coded YO-X, flown by P/O Hugh Godefroy, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, Oct 1941. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. AD234), included the following data: Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 45 engine, 33 Maintenance Unit (MU), 12 Sep 1941, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, 26 Oct 1941, Air Service Training (AST), 22 Feb 1942.  Damaged by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and abandoned near Woodchurch, Kent in the UK on 13 Mar 1942, struck off charge (SOC) 31 Mar 1942.

 (RAF Photo UK5800l)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EN921), coded YO-A, flown by F/O Jack Sheppard, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, c1941. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4997399)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, coded YO-R, No. 401 Squadron, RCAF, over Kent, England in 1942.

The success of fighter operations during the Battle of Britain encouraged Fighter Command to initiate offensive operations over enemy territories that were within the range of its aircraft, i.e., all of North-Western Europe.  This was a reversal from what had happened during the Battle of Britain: Allied fighter pilots found themselves at a disadvantage against German interception aircraft warned of their arrival through their own radar network.  The Luftwaffe could also count on better aircraft, especially the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, that outperformed the RAF’s Spitfire Mk V.  Several RCAF squadrons, including Nos. 401, 402, 403, 411, 412, participated in what were called “Rodeo” operations (fighter raids over enemy territory), “Circus” operations (medium bomber escort), and “Ramrod” operations (heavy bomber protection).  Those were dangerous missions and both RAF and RCAF squadrons suffered heavy casualties.

On 19 August 1942, the RAF was called upon to provide air support to the most important offensive of the year, Operation Jubilee, the Allied raid on Dieppe.  Fighter Command provided 48 Spitfire squadrons (including several RCAF squadrons: Nos 401, 402, 403, 411, 412 and 416), eight Hurricane squadrons, and three Hawker Typhoon squadrons.  Army Co-operation Command contributed four Mustang squadrons (including the RCAF’s Nos. 400 and 414) and two squadrons of Blenheim light bombers.  Bomber Command, for its part, supplied three light bomber squadrons.  The order of battle was completed by a few Boston fighter-bombers, among which two from the RCAF’s No. 600 Squadron, and by two USAAF B-17 heavy bomber squadrons.  The nine RCAF squadrons that took part in the raid lost 14 aircraft and 9 pilots; in addition, 10 planes were damaged and 3 pilots wounded.  Enemy losses amounted to 10 aircraft downed, 14 damaged and 2 presumed downed.  Although the raid’s air component was not such a catastrophe as the ground operation, it evidenced similar weaknesses in planning and communications.

As D-Day was approaching, Fighter Command and Army Co-operation Command squadrons were integrated into the 2nd Tactical Air Force (2 TAF) and both were dissolved as such, the latter being replaced by the British Air Defence.  In preparation for Operation Overlord, the Allies put together an immense air force by combining the British 2nd TAF and the USAAF 9th TAF, as well as many squadrons from Coastal Command, Bomber Command and the USAAF 8th Army Air Force.

All RCAF fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons, including the six territorial defence squadrons that were sent overseas in 1943 and 1944, were assigned to the 2nd TAF, except for No. 402, which served with the British Air Defence.  Each squadron prepared for the very specific role it was to play.  Those that were to ensure air superiority by attacking enemy aircraft used Spitfire Mk. IX or Mk. XXIs.  Fighter-bomber squadrons specialized in ground attacks flew Hawker Typhoons.  Night fighters were equipped with de Havilland Mosquitos or sometimes Bristol Beaufighters, obsolete by then.  Reconnaissance and photography units were supplied with Mosquitos, Mustangs and unarmed versions of the Spitfire, their role being to provide the army with data on the terrain and on enemy positions.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, when the Allies set foot on the beaches of Normandy, the Luftwaffe put up almost no resistance to the massive invasion.  Fighter squadrons escorted invading troops and attacked enemy ground positions; air superiority was easily established over the bridgehead.  Later, as ground forces forged ahead, that superiority was easily maintained over an area that now reached some 100 km behind enemy lines.  Allied ground forces could then move freely while German troops, whether they used roads or railways, or moved across fields could not do so without being targeted by RAF and RCAF fighters.

No. 402 Squadron, RCAFbegan on 5 October 1932 as Number 12 Army Co-operation Squadron, a unit of the non-permanent active Air Force. During the early years, meetings were held in Minto Armories, while flying facilities were based at Stevenson Field.  The aircraft flown included a number of Avro Tutors, de Havilland Gipsy Moths, and a few other light aircraft.  On 15 November 1937, No. 12 Army Cooperation Squadron was renumbered No. 112 Army Cooperation Squadron, flying a variety of aircraft types including the Avro 626 and the de Havilland Tiger Moth.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, No. 112 Squadron was sent to Ottawa in February 1940, and re-equipped with the Westland Lysander, stocks of which were left behind when No. 110 Squadron was posted overseas.  The squadron was likewise sent to Europe on 30 June 1940 with the intention to have No. 112 Squadron become part of the British Expeditionary Force, but the decision was made that Army Co-operation squadrons were not needed in France, and the squadron was re-deployed to coastal defence duties in England.

On 11 December 1940, the squadron was re-designated No. 2 Squadron, RCAF, and equipped with the Hawker Hurricane Mk. I.  In March 1941, while stationed at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire, England the squadron was renumbered as No. 402 Squadron RCAF to comply with Article XV and re-equipped with the Hawker Hurricane Mk. II the following May and then Hurricane Mk. IIBs in June.  The squadron began training with these fighters, to become the first "Hurribomber" unit, commencing operations in this role in November 1941, carrying pairs of 250 lb bombs beneath the wings.

In March 1942, No. 402 Squadron resumed its fighter role moving to RAF Colerne, where it converted to Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vbs.  The squadron took part in cross-channel Ramrod and Rodeo sorties from various bases, notably RAF Kenley and RAF Redhill, until August when it received Spitfire Mk. IXs, employing these over Dieppe on 19 August 1942.

No. 402 Squadron moved to RAF Digby in March 1943, and returned to flying Spitfire Mk.Vs, from a variety of airfields right up to and during the Battle of Normandy.  It also operated from a temporary airfield at Horne, Westhampnett and RAF Merton. For Operation Overlord (the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944) it operated as part of the Air Defence of Great Britain, under the operational control of RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force, mainly in a fighter-bomber role.  Spitfire Mk. IXs were again received in July, but their stay was brief, as in early August 1944, a move was made to Hawkinge where the Squadron re-equipped with Griffon-engine Spitfire Mk.XIVs and carried out operations against the V-1 flying bombs, with five victories confirmed.

Following a change back to operations over Europe on 25 August 1944, including reconnaissance and bomber escort, No. 402 Squadron continued to see regular action against Luftwaffe, with pilots claiming 19 victories in April 1945 alone.

At the end of September 1944, the Squadron was posted to the 2nd Tactical Air Force (2 TAF) in Belgium joining No. 125 Wing, RCAF.  A move to Grave in the Netherlands followed, where the first victories were claimed by squadron pilots over Nijmegen on 6 October 1944.  In December, the Squadron joined No. 126 Wing, RCAF, to fly alongside the Wing's Spitfire Mk. IXs.  The ending of the hostilities found the unit on German soil at Wunstorf, with total victories for the war of 49½ aircraft . The code letters carried by the Squadron during this period were "AE" . The Squadron disbanded at RAF Fassberg, Germany on 10 July 1945.

Fighter aircraft flown by No. 402 Squadron during the war included Hawker Hurricane Mk. I, IIA, IIb and Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb, IXc, Vc, IXc, XIVe, XVI and XIXE.

 (Aldo Bidini Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. Vb (Serial No. EP120), coded AE-A, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, currently airworthy, Reg. No. G-LFVB, The Fighter Collection, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, in the UK.  It is painted in the markings it carried when serving with No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, although it served with several different units during the Second World War.  Pilots flying EP120 destroyed seven Axis aircraft.

 (Tim Felce Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. Vb (Serial No. EP120), coded AE-A, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, currently airworthy, Reg. No. G-LFVB, The Fighter Collection, Duxford, Cambridgeshire.  During the Second World War, EP120 was assigned to No. 501 Squadron in 1942, and then subsequently to No. 402 Squadron, RCAF.  Pilots of this aircraft destroyed seven German aircraft during its wartime career.  Post-war, it was an instructional airframe, then displayed as a Gate guardian.  It was acquired by the fighter collection in 1993 and restored to airworthiness.  It is currently painted in its No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, markings.

 (Aldo Bidini Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. Vb (Serial No. EP120), coded AE-A, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, currently airworthy, Reg. No. G-LFVB, The Fighter Collection, Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

 (Aurore Defferriare Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. Vb (Serial No. EP120), coded AE-A, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, currently airworthy, Reg. No. G-LFVB, The Fighter Collection, Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. Vb (Serial No. EP120), Reg. No. G-LFVB, AE-A, 402 (RCAF) Squadron, The Fighter Collection, Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Airworthy. 

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. Vb (Serial No. EP120), coded AE-A, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, currently airworthy, Reg. No. G-LFVB, The Fighter Collection, Duxford, Cambridgeshire. 

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIV, RAF (Serial No. RN119), coded AE-J, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, 126 Wing, 2nd TAF, Heesch, the Netherlands, 4 March 1945.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. RN119), included the following data: built at Supermarine (Super), powered by a Griffon 65 engine, 33 MU, 8 Nov 1944, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, coded AE-J, 8 Feb 1945, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 21 Mar 1945, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, 28 Jun 1945, to the Belgian Air Force (Serial No. SG-45), 10 Jun 1948.

 (Asisbiz Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIV, (Serial No. RM727), coded AE-P, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, Nov 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. RM727), included the following data: Construction No. 6S.432276, built at Chattis Hill (CHA), powered by a Griffon 65 engine, 33 Maintenance Unit (MU), 25 Jun 1944, No. 91 Squadron, 31 Jul 1944, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, coded AE-P, 9 Nov 1944, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 10 Mar 1945, No. 405 Squadron, RCAF, 12 Apr 1945, shot down by flak near Parchim, Germany, 19 Apr 1945, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, 26 Apr 1945, 3 Base Recovery Unit (BRU).

After the Normandy campaign two sub-units of 511 Forward Repair Unit (FRU), Odiham, known as Base Aircraft Repair Unit (BARU) and Base Aircraft Salvage Unit (BASU) operated on the Continent.  In Nov 1944, 511 FRU disbanded and many of the personnel were posted to the BARU at Courtrai, which was then renamed 151 Repair Unit; at the same time BASU was renamed 3 BRU.  (Chris Thomas)

 (RAF Photo)

 Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX (Serial No. EN398), coded JE-J.   This aircraft was built at the Chattis Hill (CHA) factory and made its first flight on 13 Feb 1943.  On 18 February it was delivered to RCAF No 402 Squadron at RAF Kenley in the UK.  There Ian Keltie took possession of it and used EN398 (then coded AE-I) exclusively until mid March (by now coded AE-B), when 402 moved.   Keltie's last mission in EN398 occurred on 13 March 1943.  When 402 moved however, EN398 was left for their replacement squadron, also Canadian, RCAF No. 416 Squadron.  RAF Kenley housed four RCAF squadrons, Nos. 403 and 416 with Spitfire Mk. IXs, and Nos. 411 and 421 Squadrons with Spitfire Mk. Vs.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. EN398), included the following data: Construction No. 4612, built at Chattis Hill (CHA), powered by a Merlin 63 engine, first flew (FF) 13 Feb 1943, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, 18 Feb 1943, No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, 23 Mar 1943, Station HQ Kenley, 4 Apr 1943, Air Service Training (AST) modifications, No. 416 Squadron, 16 Apr 1943, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, 27 Jul 1943, AST, 26 Aug 1943, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 24 Sep 1943, AST, 83 Group Service Unit (GSU), 23 Mar 1944, Scottish Aviation, 22 Aug 1944, 9 Maintenance Unit (MU), 9 Jan 1945, 80 Operational Training Unit (OTU), 24 May 1945, 29 MU, 21 Mar 1946, sold as scrap to H. Bath, 10 Nov 1949.  W/C Johnson shot down 16 of his final total of 34 enemy aircraft in this aircraft.

On 16 March 1943, Acting Wing Commander "Johnnie" Johnson arrived to take command of the four Canadian units based at Kenley, leading the wing.  Johnson took over EN398, and noted that his Spitfire was painted with a green maple leaf below the cockpit.  Johnson stated, "I found the engineer officer and together we had a look at her, gleaming and bright in a new spring coat of camouflage paint.  Later I took her up for a few aerobatics to get the feel of her, for this was the first time I had flown a Mk. IX.  She seemed very fast, the engine was sweet and she responded to the controls as only a thoroughbred can.  I decided she should be mine, and I never had occasion to regret the choice."

As a wing commander, Johnson was allowed to paint his initials JE-J on the sides of the fuselage, in place of the usual squadron code letters AE.  He also had the Spitfire's guns re-harmonised to converge their fire to a single point ahead of the aircraft, rather than the standard pattern which spread the rounds evenly over a circle a few yards across.  The first successful engagement for Johnson in EN398 was on 3 April 1943 when he shot down a Focke-Wulf Fw 190.  By the time Johnson relinquished command of the Kenley Wing in September 1943 he had shot down 12 enemy aircraft, shared in the destruction of five more, inflicted damage on six and shared in damaging one, all while flying EN398.  Also, RCAF Squadron Leader Robert "Buck" McNair shot down an Fw 190 while flying this Spitfire on 20 July 1943.  EN398 was eventually sold for scrap in October 1949.

 (RCAF Photo via Asisbiz)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX (Serial No. BS428), coded AE-U, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, 1942.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. BS428), included the following data: Construction No. 3298, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin 61 engine, first flew (FF) 26 Aug 1942, No. 402 Squadron, RCAF, coded AE-U, 26 Aug 1942, Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Nov 1942, flown in negative G trials,  Aeroplane and Armament Experiment Establishment (AAEE), Boscombe Down (BDn), 14 Jan 1943, flown in level speed performance trials with and without a 500lb bomb on mod carrier 19 Jan 1943, brief handling trials with 250lb and 500lb bomb comparison trials and range detection, ice guard, flown with guns removed, fuel cooling installation in the wing root.  New carrier of RAF design and manufacture installation, 15 Feb 1943, No.  416 Squadron, RCAF, 23 Mar 1943, Air Service Training (AST) 31 Mar 1943, modifications, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, 20 May 1943, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 24 Jun 1943, repaired on site (ros), No. 405 Squadron, RCAF, 14 Sep 1943, No. 611 Squadron, 15 Oct 1944.  Sold as scrap to H. Bath, 24 Nov 1949.

 (CF Photo, REC89-142)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVI (Serial No. SM309), coded AU-H, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, airfield B-90, Petit Brogel, Belgium, 15 Mar 1945.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. SM309) included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 266 engine, 45 Maintenance Unit (MU), 6 Nov 1944, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, 28 Dec 1944, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 15 Mar 1945, No. 410 Squadron, RCAF, 17 Fighter Training School (FTS), 11 Feb 1946.  SM309 suffered an engine failure, the pilot made a wheels up landing at Harlaxton, Category B (CB) damage, 28 Mar 1946, struck off charge (SOC), 23 May 1946.

No. 403 (Fighter) Squadron, RCAF, was formed at RAF Station Baginton, Warwickshire, England, on 1 March 1941.  This first squadron of the RCAF formed overseas under the BCATP.  Its aircraft were coded KH.  The squadron was initially equipped with the Curtiss Tomahawk Mk. T fighters, which were replaced with the Supermarine Spitfire after 29 operational sorties.  Through continual replacement and updating, the squadron flew various model Spitfires, Mk I through Mk XVI.  While flying a Spitfire Mk. IX in No. 403 Squadron, George Beurling scored his 30th air victory.

No, 403 Squadron served in RAF Figher Command and 2nd Tactical Air Force for over four years.  By May 1945, the squadron had a record of 123 enemy aircraft destroyed, with a share in seven more, 10 probably destroyed, and 72 damaged with a share in one more.  Ground targets destroyed or damaged included 30 tanks, 50 locomotives, and nearly 100 other vehicles. Sixteen DFCs, four DFC with Bar, and one Military Medal were awarded to members of the Squadron, in addition to a number of MiDs.

The "Wolf" Squadron and many other units paid a high price in lives and aircraft.  85 aircraft were destroyed. 76 pilots were reported missing; of these, four were killed, 39 presumed dead, 21 captured, and nine successfully evaded capture.

 (RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. IX (Serial No. R7129), No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, ca May 1941.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. R7129) included the following data: Construction No. 1457, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin III engine, first flown (FF) 14 Feb 1941, 9 Maintenance Unit (MU), 19 Feb 1941, No. 308 Squadron, 13 May 1941, No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, coded KH-A, 28 May 1941, No. 610 Operational Training Unit (OTU), 5 Aug 1941.  Collided with Spitfire (Serial No. R7150), near Heston, Flying Accident Category E (FACE) damage, destroyed by fire (dbf), 21 Aug 1941, struck off charge (SOC) 27 Aug 1941.

 (IWM Photo, CL186)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, No 403 Squadron, RCAF, being serviced by an RAF Repair and Salvage Unit working to repair damage to the aircraft at a forward airstrip in Normandy, 19 June 1944.   The propeller blades are wooden.  It would appear that the repair team is trying to lift and move the wing backwards to straighten it out.  A few of the men are pushing on the cannon while those behind are watching the wing root area.

 (IWM Photo, CH 4000)

Armourers of No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, wearing anti-gas equipment, re-arm the cannons and machine guns of Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. AB940), coded KH-Z, during an exercise at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire L.F Mk. XVI (Serial No. SM483), No. 403 Squadron RCAF, following a crash landing on the rooftop of a four story building at 153 Boulevard Auguste Reyers, Brussels on 3 February 1945.  It broke in two and the tail fell into the street after an engine failure while taking off from B.56 Brussels/Evere.  The aircraft was destroyed but the extremely lucky pilot, RCAF F/O R. Tegerdine of Oakland, California, fell out of the aircraft, then dropped through the hole in the roof caused by the crash and walked out of the building with only minor scratches.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL15946)

Group Captain Robert Wendell "Buck" McNair, DSO, DFC & Two Bars (15 May 1919 – 15 January 1971), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flying ace of the Second World War, with 16 or 16.5 victories and five probables.  He is shown here with his Spitfire, when he was flying with RCAF No. 403 Squadron, Apr 1943.

 (IWM Photo, CM 3658)

Flight-Sergeant George. F. Beurling, DSO, DFC, DFM and Bar, of No. 249 Squadron RAF, standing by a sandbag revetment at Ta Kali, Malta, with the rudder and unit emblem cut from a crash-landed Macchi MC.202 of 378ª Squadriglia/51º Stormo CT, Regia Aeronautica, one of four enemy aircraft which he shot down over Gozo on 27 July 1942.  George Beurling joined the RAF in September 1940 and was posted to No. 41 Squadron RAF a year later.  On 9 June 1942, he flew into Malta from HMS Eagle and joined No. 249 Squadron RAF, with whom he became the top-scoring Allied fighter pilot on the island, achieving 26 victories between 12 June and 14 October 1942.  He was sent home to Canada for publicity purposes in November 1942, but returned to the United Kingdom to join No. 61 Operational Training Unit as a flying instructor in July 1943.  He transferred to the RCAF on 1 September 1943 and achieved the last of his 32 confirmed victories with Nos. 403 and 412 Squadrons before returning to Canada in April 1944 and retiring from the Air Force the following October.   He died in a flying accident, (possibly due to sabotage), on 20 May 1948, while ferrying an aircraft to Israel after having volunteered for service with the nascent Israeli Air Force.

 (IWM Photo, CL 778)

A Supermarine Spitfire of No. 127 (Canadian) Wing takes off on a dusk patrol from B2/Bazenville, Normandy, while a Spitfire Mk. IX, coded KH-G, of No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, waits at readiness.

 (Nilfanion Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. TB752), coded KH-Z, No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, built in 1944, currently preserved in the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum, Manston Road, Ramsgate, Kent in the UK.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. TB752), included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF) in the United Kingdom in 1944, powered by a Merlin 266 engine, 33 Maintenance Unit (M), 21 Feb 1945, 66 Squadron, 25 Mar 1945, No. 409 Squadron, RCAF, 29 Mar 1945, No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, 19 Apr 1945, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 26 Apr 1945, No. 410 Squadron, RCAF, 102 Flight Refresher School (FRS), 19 Apr 1951, 7256M (Maintenance), RAF Manston, 7279M, 8080M, refurbished at Rochester airport Jan 1979, gate guardian at RAF Manston.

 (Nilfanion Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. TB752), coded KH-Z, No. 403 Squadron, RCAF, built in 1944, currently preserved in the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum, Manston Road, Ramsgate, Kent in the UK.

 

No. 411 Squadron, RCAF, was formed on 16 June 1941 at RAF Digby in Lincolnshire, England as an Article XV squadron under the control of the RAF.  The squadron was equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire and after a period of training the squadron began operations in August 1941 with the Spitfire Mk. VB variant.  While serving as part of the Hornchurch Wing, it operated over continental Europe on Rhubarb sorties and as bomber escorts.  After some rest periods the squadron joined the Kenley Wing for more operations over Europe.

Converting to the Spitfire Mk. IX in October 1943, No. 411 Squadron then became a fighter-bomber squadron.  Within two weeks of D-Day, it was operating from France in the close-support role and it also operated armed reconnaissance flights.  Following the advancing troops, the squadron was soon based in Germany, until it was disbanded at Utersen on 21 March 1946.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5010706)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIA, RAF (Serial No. P7923), coded DB-R, No. 411 Squadron, RCAF, ca July 1941. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. P7923), included the following data: built at Castle Bromwich (CBAF), powered by a Merlin XII engine, this aircraft flew with 12 Maintenance Unit (M) 1 Feb 1941, No. 610 Squadron 25 Feb 1941, No. 130 Squadron 3 July 1941, No. 411 Squadron 27 Jul 1941, 1 CRU 31 Pct 1941, CGS 27 Nov 1942, Flying Accident Category C (FAAC), 11 Jul 1944, repaired on site (ros), Category E (CE) damage, 9 Nov 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL30827)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, coded DB-R, No. 411 Squadron, RCAF, with Stan Rivers and Ken Allenby painting pre-invasion stripes on the fighter prior to 6 June 1944 at Tangmere, United Kingdom.  On 6 June 1944, under overcast skies, RCAF fighter and fighter-bomber pilots flew with 171 Allied squadrons to protect the soldiers on the beach from the Luftwaffe and to attack German formations on the ground.  No. 441, No. 442 and No. 443 Squadrons of the RCAF became the first allied aircraft to operate over France since 1940.  They continued to support the Allied offensive throughout the campaign that followed.  Seven RCAF aircraft were lost, and 20 RCAF members were killed during operations in support of the landings.

 (Asisbiz Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV, coded DB-D, No. 411 Squadron, RCAF, British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), post-war, 1945.

 (RCAF Photo)

Flight Lieutenant Richard Joseph "Dick" Audet DFC and bar (13 March 1922 – 3 March 1945) was a Canadian fighter pilot who flew with No. 411 Squadron during the war.  In his first contact with enemy aircraft on 29 December 1944, he destroyed five aircraft.  By the end of January 1945 he had claimed a further five victories and shared in a sixth.  He was killed in action on 3 March 1945 near Coesfield, Germany.

Audet enlisted for service in the RCAF on 7 August 1941 and received his pilot’s wings in October 1942.  He was then posted to the UK where he received five months of advanced operational training followed by non-fighter operations.  During this time he met and married Iris Gibbins from Northampton.

On 20 September 1944, he was transferred to No. 411 Squadron, RCAF, where he flew Spitfires.  On 29 December 1944, piloting a Spitfire Mk. IXe, he destroyed two Messerschmitt Bf 109s and three Focke-Wulf Fw 190s within five to seven minutes over Osnabrück, Germany This action earned him a promotion to Flight Lieutenant and he was awarded the DFC.  

On 3 March 1945, Flight Lieutenant Audet was strafing a German train west of Münster, Germany.  The train returned fire and Audet’s Spitfire crashed to the ground.  When shot down his flying mates were quite clear in saying that he had been hit by flak, streamed glycol, crashed in flames and exploded.  There is some uncertainty as to whether he died in the crash or was captured, but his body was never recovered.  Audet had flown more than 50 combat sorties and added a bar to his DFC.

Post Mission Report of Flying Officer R. J. Audet, 29 December 1944

29 December 1944: Flying Officer Richard Joseph Audet, Royal Canadian Air Force, was a section leader of No. 411 Squadron, an RCAF squadron under the control of the Second Tactical Air Force, Royal Air Force. The squadron was based at an advanced airfield in The Netherlands.  In the early afternoon, Audet’s Yellow Section engaged a flight of twelve Luftwaffe fighters, four Messerchmitt Bf 109s and eight Focke-Wulf Fw 190s, near Rheine, in northwestern Germany.  Flying a Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. RR201), Flying Officer Audet led his section into the attack. He later reported:

"I was leading Yellow section of 411 Squadron in the Rheine/Osnabruck area when Control reported Huns at Rheine and the squadron turned in that direction. An Me 262 was sighted and just at that time I spotted 12 e/a on our starboard side at 2 o’clock. These turned out to be a mixture of approximately 4 Me 109’s and 8 FW 190’s.

1) I attacked an Me 109 which was the last a/c in the formation of about twelve all flying line astern. At approximately 200 yds and 30° to starboard at 10,000 feet I opened fire and saw strikes all over the fuselage and wing roots. The 109 burst into flames on the starboard side of the fuselage only, and trailed intense black smoke. I then broke off my attack.

2) After the first attack I went around in a defensive circle at about 8500 feet until I spotted an FW 190 which I immediately attacked from 250 yards down to 100 yards and from 30° to line astern. I saw strikes over cockpit and to the rear of the fuselage. It burst into flames from the engine back, and as I passed very close over top of it I saw the pilot slumped over in his cockpit, which was also in flames.

3) My third attack followed immediately on the 2nd. I followed what I believed was an Me 109 in a slight dive. He then climbed sharply and his coupe top flew off at about 3 to 4,000 feet. I then gave a very short burst from about 300 yards and line astern and his aircraft whipped downwards in a dive. The pilot attempted or did bale out. I saw a black object on the edge of the cockpit but his ‘chute ripped to shreds. I then took cine shots of his a/c going to the ground and bits of parachute floating around. I saw this aircraft hit and smash into many flaming pieces on the ground. I do not remember any strikes on this aircraft. The Browning button only may have been pressed.

4) I spotted a FW 190 being pursued at about 5,000′ by a Spitfire which was in turn pursued by an FW 190. I called this Yellow section pilot to break and attacked the 190 up his rear. The fight went downwards in a steep dive. When I was about 250 yards and line astern of this 190 I opened fire. There were many strikes on the length of the fuselage and it immediately burst into flames. I saw this FW 190 go straight into the ground and burn.

5) Several minutes later while attempting to form my section up again I spotted an FW 190 from 4000 feet. He was at about 2000 feet. I dived down on him and he turned in to me from the right. Then he flipped around in a left hand turn and attempted a head-on attack. I slowed down to wait for the 190 to flypast in range. At about 200 yds and 20° I gave a very short burst, but couldn’t see any strikes. This a/c flicked violently, and continued to do so until he crashed into the ground. The remainder of my section saw this encounter and Yellow 4 (F/O McCracken) saw it crash in flames.

This air battle had been Flying Officer Audet’s first engagement with enemy aircraft. It was over within a matter of minutes. For his actions of 29 December 1944, Richard Audet was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, traces its history back to two separate squadrons, No. 12 Communications Flight at RCAF Station Ottawa, Ontario, and No. 412 (Fighter) Squadron, which was formed at RAF Digby, England, on 30 June 1941.  John Gillespie Magee, the author of the famous aviation poem, High Flight, was serving with No. 412 Squadron when he was killed in a mid-air collision in his Spitfire in 1941.

No. 412 Squadron, coded VZ, was equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb, and served at a number of RAF Stations in the United Kingdom.  In October 1943, the squadron joined No. 126 Wing, RCAF, part of the RAF's 2nd Tactial Air Force.  It was re-equipped with the Spitfire Mk. IXb in November 1943, and began operating over northern France in preparation for Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings.  In late 1943, George Beurling scored his last air victory while serving with the squadron.

The squadron was moved to France in June 1944, days after the Allied landings and operated on continental Europe for the remainder of the war.  The squadron was based at Wunstorf, Germany when the war ended in May 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PL30259)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, No. 412 Squadron, Flying Officer H.W. ‘Bud’ Bowker, from Grandby, Quebec, works on the guns of the Spitfire he flew for the RCAF during the Normandy invasion, in France on 8 June 1944.  Note the captured German helmet over the muzzle of the Spitfire's 20-mm cannon and a German motorbike obtained on a visit to the front line, are now the property of Flying Officer H.W. ‘Bud’ Bowker [of] Granby, Quebec.

 (Luftwaffe Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb (Serial No. EN784), coded VZ-G, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, shot down on 26 July 1942. 

VZ-G was being flown by LCol Albert Patton Clark, Jr., Executive Officer of the 31st Fighter Group.  On 26 July 1942, he flew his first combat mission, from Merston Airfield, in a sortie with Yellow Flight of the No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, of the RAF Tangmere Wing.  He was flying a borrowed Spitfire (since his was being repaired that day).  Their mission was a “sweep” over Abbéville, France, and to attack the Luftwaffe fighter aerodrome at Ducat.  After strafing the aerodrome and Luftwaffe fighters taking off during their strafing run, his flight was attacked by an already-airborne flight of four Fw-190s from JG 26.  He was separated from his flight leader, RCAF Flying Officer Frederick E. Green.  In the course of the ensuing “dogfight”, his aircraft took damage and his engine failed.  When he was unable to open his canopy to bail out over the English Channel, he was forced to crash-land near Cap Gris Nez, France. He was immediately captured by German soldiers from a nearby coastal artillery battery. According to German military archives, Luftwaffe Oberfeldwebel Hermann Meyer of JG 26 was given credit for shooting down LCol Clark. Ofw. Meyer was an “ace” with 18 victories, and LCol Clark was his 17th.  Meyer died of tuberculosis less than six months later in a French hospital.  LCol Clark spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft III.  He retired from the USAF in 1974 as a Lieutenant General.  He passed away in 2010 at age 96, and is buried at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. (Bill Homan)

 On 26 July 1942, No. 412 saw their biggest action to date.  Long relegated to convoy escort duties in the 12 Group zone, they were now operating from Merston (Sussex), taking active part in the RAF’s summer offensive.  On that day, Fighter Command’s Rodeo (fighter sweep) operation prompted response from JG 26 fighters.  Yellow Section of No. 412 tangled with Focke-Wulfs over the latter’s home base at Abbeville-Drucat.  Flight Lieutenant F. E. Green destroyed one Fw 190 and damaged a second, Flying Officer G. C. Davidson scored a probable kill, and Flying Officer K.I. Robb damaged still another.

Three of the squadron pilots on that mission were American guests.  Major McNickle, Captain Davis and LCol Albert Patton Clark were commanders of the 31st FG which then undertook its operational training in the UK.  LCol Clark was the Executive Officer of the unit.  The Spitfire which Clark received for the mission was coded VZ-G.  It became the squadron’s only loss of the day.  Hit by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Clark put down his Spitfire in a field, thus becoming the first 8th Air Force fighter pilot to be shot down over Europe.  He survived his predicament and was taken prisoner by the Germans, who were somewhat baffled by his American uniform and his high rank.  LCol Clark spent 33 months in the infamous Stalag Luft III.  He was involved in the famous Great Escape, responsible for accumulation and hiding of supplies used in the breakout.  After the Second World War, he progressed through key staff assignments with the USAF.  (The Spitfire Site)

 (IWM Photo, MH6849)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXE, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, coded VZ-W, taxing at airfield B108, Rheinem Germany, 1945.

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-136915)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXE, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, coded VZ-W, taxing at airfield B108, Rheinem Germany, 1945.

(IWM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. MJ275), coded VZ-J, and (Serial No. MJ452), coded VZ-L, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, with 250-lb bombs, Heesch, Netherlands, ca Feb 1945.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. PL883), included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 66 engine, 33 Maintenance Unit (MU) 20 Oct 1943, No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, 30 Jan 1944, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 30 Jan 1944, Air Service Training (AST), 83 Group Service Unit (GSU), 19 Sep 1944, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, 23 Nov 1944, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 16 Feb 1945.  On an armed reconnaissance patrol, PL883 was shot down by flak and crashed in flames, Zelhem, Netherlands, 30 Mar 1945, F/Lt W.J. Anderson KIA.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. MJ452), included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 66 engine, 9 MU, 1 Nov 1943, General Aircraft Ltd (GAL), 29 Aug 1944, 83 Group Service Unit (GSU), 9 Sep 1944, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, coded VZ-L, 23 Nov 1944, No. 130 Squadron, 17 May 1945, Air Service Training, Hamble (ASTH), to 6081M, 15 Aug 1946, No. 5 School of Technical Training (5SoTT), 26 June 1947, struck off charge (SOC), reduced to group assemblies (rtga).

 (Asisbiz Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. MJ275), coded VZ-R, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, taxiing past a USAAF Martin B-26 Marauder, Heesch, Netherlands, 22 Mar 1945.

 (IWM Photo, CL 1450)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXEs of No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, await the start-up signal, Volkel, October 1944.  Each aircraft sags under the weight of two wing-mounted 250lb bombs, and a 500-pounder slung below the fuselage.  Though never designed for such a role, the Spitfire proved remarkably effective on interdiction sorties against enemy transport and communications.

(IWM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXE (Serial No. MJ255), coded VZ-S, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, Tilly-sur-Seulles, Normandy.  This aircraft crashed on 11 June 1944, photo taken on 17 June 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. MJ255), included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 66 engine, 33 Maintenance Unit (MU), 24 Oct 1943, No. 405 Squadron, RCAF, 8 Nov 1943, No. 412 Squadron, 21 Nov 1943.  MJ255's engine cut out and it crash landed in Normandy, Category E (CE) damage, 11 June 1944.

 (DND Archives Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXE (Serial No. MJ393), coded VZ-Z, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, possibly at St Croix sur Mer, near Juno Beach, France, June 1944.

Two days after D-Day, maintenance and construction commando squadrons arrived in Normandy to build airstrips.  Ground crews of No .144 Wing (including Nos. 441, 442 and 443 Squadrons) were deployed near Banville as early as 9 June 1944.  Both air and ground crews had to get used to the dust and lack of comfort of their temporary facilities.  The bases and support personnel of the other Spitfire and Typhoon squadrons were also transferred to Normandy, as the bridgehead became more solid.

As the campaign unfolded, encounters between RCAF fighters and the Luftwaffe became less and less frequent.  Fighter attacks were mostly directed at ground targets: trucks, tanks, and artillery positions.  When German troops in the Falaise Pocket were surrounded, on 18 August 1944, fighters of all types were thrown into the battle.  On that single day, No. 127 Wing (Nos. 403, 416 and 421 Squadrons) destroyed or put out of commission over 500 military vehicles, totalling some 290 hours of flight and firing 30,000 20-mm rounds.

 (IWM Photo, CL1451)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXE, coded VZ-H, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF, carrying three 250-lb bombs, assisted by a ground-crewman on the wing to stear around potholes in the runway, B80/Vokel, Netherlands, 19 Oct 1944.

No. 414 Squadron, RCAF, was initially formed on 13 August 1941, as No. 414 Army Co-operation Squadron, at RAF Croydon, England, flying Westland Lysander and Curtiss Tomahawk aircraft.  On 28 June 1943 the squadron's name was changed to No. 414 Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron to reflect its role.  Throughout the Second World War, the squadron was based at numerous airfields in England and in continentental Europe, flying Supermarine Spitfire and North American Mustang fighters.  During this period, the squadron provided photo reconnaissance, intelligence and ground attacks for both the Dieppe Raid and th allied invasion of Europe.  It accounted for 29 enemy aircraft destroyed and 11 damaged, 76 locomotives and 12 naval vessels destroyed.  After the war ended, the squadron disbanded at Lübeburg, Germany on 7 August 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3645494)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVB, RAF (Serial No. MV348), coded S, "Violet Dorothy III", No. 414 (Sarnia Imperials) Squadron, RCAF, June 1945.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. MV348), included the following data: built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Griffon 65 engine, (Interim) Super production prototype, 4 Apr 1944,  39 MU, 4 Apr 1945, No. 414 Squadron, RCAF, 26 May 1945, No. 2 Squadron, 9 Aug 1945,  Flying Accident Category C (FAAC) damage, 10 Nov 1945, 123 Wing HQ, 23 Jan 1946, 2 Squadron, British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), 22 Feb 1947, repaired on site (ros), 13 May 1949.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3645495)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIVB, RAF (Serial No. MV348), coded S, "Violet Dorothy III", No. 414 (Sarnia Imperials) Squadron, RCAF.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIV (Serial No. NH757), coded D, No. 414 Squadron, RCAF, being refueled prior to a sortie, at Wunsdorf, Germany in April 1945.  Note the camera ahead of the roundel.  NH757 was flown to photograph sites in Germany, on occasion engaging in aerial combat with the last remnants of the Luftwaffe.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. NH757), included the following data: built at Aldermanston (ALD), powered by a Griffin 65 engine, 29 Maintenance Unit (MU), 26 Mar 1945, No. 414 Squadron, RCAF, 26 Apr 1945, No. 2 Squadron, 9 Aug 1945, wheels up landing at Sylt, 2 Sep 1946, Category E (CE) damage, 12 Sep 1946.

No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, was formed as a fighter squadron at RAF Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 22 November 1941 as a fighter squadron and was based at various RAF stations in Scotland, England and continental Europe.  On 16 June 1944, the squadron moved to France and they remained on the continent until they were disbanded at Utersen, Germany, on 21 March 1946.  Flying Supermarine Spitfires, No. 416 Squadron earned the following battle honours: Defence of Britain 1942-44, English Channel and North Sea 1943, Fortress Europe 1942-44, Dieppe, France and Germany 1944-45, Normandy 1944, Arnhem and Rhine.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3941007)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX, (Serial No. MJ832), coded DN-T, No. 416 (City of Oshawa) Squadron, RCAF.  This aircraft was damaged by flak in the Flenville area of France on 8 May 1944, but was repaired.  Squadron Leader Sten T. Lundberg was shot down by flak while flying this Sptifire, as he attacked a train in the Cayeux-Berck area on 21 May 1944.  This was during Ramrod 905.  He became a POW at Luft Stalag III.  His Kriegsgefangenen Nummer (POW Number) was 5838.  Luft Stalag III was the camp made famous by the "Great Escape".  On his return to Canada, he became a pioneer in early helicopter aviation.  The remains of his Spitfire were apparently collected but later abandoned by the Luftwaffe at Vught, Holland, 11 Nov 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. MJ832), included the following data: built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 66 engine, 33 Maintenance Unit (MU), 24 Dec 1943, No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, coded DN-T, later DN-Y, 30 Jan 1944.  Damaged by flak while attacking a train and abandoned over France 21 May 1944.

(RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188), coded AU-H, in flight, now with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario.  On operatons over Europe in 1944, this fighter was flown by No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, coded DN-S. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. NH188), included the following data: Construction No. 2161, built by the Supermarine division of Vickers-Armstrong Limited at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF) in the United Kingdom in 1944.  It is powered by a Merlin 66 engine.  6 Maintenance Unit (MU), 1 May 1944, Air Service Training, 18 May 1944, No. 308 (Polish) Squadron, 15 Jun 1944, Category E (CE) damage on operations, 8 Oct 1944, No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, coded DN-S.  It was damaged by anti-aircraft fire around D-Day, and was stored by the RAF from late 1944 to 1946.  30 Nov 1944, 47 MU, 17 Sep 1947, Royal Netherlands Air Force (Serial No. H-64), later (Serial No. H-109).  Sent to the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia) in 1947, it was flown infrequently until its return to Holland in 1950.  It was sold to the Belgian Air Force in 1952, rebuilt, and then used as a trainer, Belgian Air Force (Serial No. 3-53), later (Serial No. SM-39).  NH188 was written off after a crash in 1954.  A private company then purchased the aircraft and rebuilt it to tow targets, coded 00-ARC.  John N. Paterson of Fort William, Ontario, purchased the Spitfire and brought it to Canada in 1961, Reg. No. CF-NUS.  After rebuilding it, Paterson donated the aircraft to the Museum in 1964, flying it to Ottawa for Air Force Day.  It is now in the CA&SM, coded AU-H.

(RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188), coded AU-H, in flight, now with the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188), coded AU-H, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188), coded AU-H, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188), coded AU-H, Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

 (Glen Carruthers Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE, RCAF (Serial No. TE214), on loan from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario.  This Spitfire was manufactured by the Supermarine division of Vickers-Armstrong Limited in 1945, and was accepted by the Royal Air Force and served at the Central Gunnery School RAF in Leconfield, England, from 1945 to 1950.  It was removed from active service and stored in the early 1950s.  From 1956 until 1960 it was displayed at RAF Ternhill, England.  Transferred to the RCAF in 1960, it was refinished as an aircraft from No. 416 (City of Oshawa) Squadron and placed on display at the Canadian War Museum by the Canadian National Aeronautical Collection.  No. 416 Squadron operated Spitfire Mk. XVIe aircraft from September 1945 and March 1946 as part of No. 126 (RCAF) Wing, based at Utersen, Germany.  During late 1988, (Serial No. TE214) was loaned to the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg until 1997.  On 25 April 1997, Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps presented the CWH Museum with the Spitfire on long-term loan from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

The LF Mk. XVI was intended for the low to medium altitude role, and were powered by the Packard/Merlin M266.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIVe, coded DN-H, No. 416 Squadron, RCAF, airfield B.174 Utersen, Germany, Oct 1945.

No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, was formed on 27 November 1941 at RAF Charmy Down in England, at the RCAF's 16th - seventh Fighter - Squadron formed overseas.  Known as the "City of Windsor" squadron, it was equipped with Hawker Hurricanes and later Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IIA and Mk. IIB (Nov 41 -Feb 42), and Spitfire Mk. VB (Feb - Mar 42).  No. 417 Squadron fighters were coded AN from 1940-1946.  

It was initially deployed in Egypt in the spring of 1942, and followed the allied advance through the western desert.  It spent five months in the defence of the Suez Canal and the Nile Delta.  In April 1943 it became the only Canadian Squadron in the Desert Air Force and was to provide air defence and close support to the British Eighth Army through the closing stages of the Tunisian campaign, and throughout the Sicilian and Italian campaigns.  The squadron was disbanded at Treviso, Italy on 30 June 1945.  In the Middle East, the squadron flew Hurricane Mk.IIB (Sep - Oct 42), Hurricane Mk. IIC (Sep 42- Jan 43), Spitfire Mk. VB and Mk. VC (Oct 42 - Sep 43), Spitfire Mk. VIII (Aug 43 -Apr 45), and Spitfire Mk. IXB (Apr - Jun 45)

 (RCAF Photo)

No. 417 Squadron, official photo, RAF Charmy Down, November 1941.  Front row - left to right: F/L BF Foster, AOC Walker, S/Ldr Cam Malfroy, Group Commander Harvey, F/L W.M. Pentland, S/Ldr Wooton.  Middle row: F/O's Tom Perceval, A. Williams, Eric Mitchell, Douglas Bruce, Ken Pate, Reg Brooks, Al Pourbrix, Herb Conn, Howie Sutton, Don Millar, Gord Cushing, Jack Maurice, Keith Clarke, Lou Grant.  Back row: F/O's Bingbakkan, Gil Leguerrier, Bob Hazel, Dan Hartney.

  (IWM Photo, TR865)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vbs of No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, flying in loose formation over the Tunisian desert on a bomber escort operation, April 1943.  The RCAF’s No. 417 Squadron saw action on a completely different theatre, the Mediterranean.  The squadron was transferred from Fighter Command to the Desert Air Force and sent to the Middle East in June 1942.  In February 1943, after a few months of drudgery work and uneventful patrols over the Nile, No. 417 was moved to Tripoli and incorporated into No 244 Wing.  That unit was later stationed in Malta, some 96 km off the coast of Sicily, from where it provided air support to the British 8th Army, which included the 1st Canadian Corps, during Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily by the Allies on 10 July 1943.  No. 417 Squadron later took part in the fighting for the liberation of Italy.

 (IWM Photo, TR 823)

Flight Lieutenant W H Pentland, of No 417 Squadron, RCAF, awaiting start up in his Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V (Serial No. BR195), coded AR-T, at Goubrine, Tunisia, April 1943.

 (IWM Photo, TR 827)

The ground crews of No, 417 Squadron, RCAF, riding in and around a crowded jeep at Goubrine, Tunisia.  Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vs of the Squadron are in the background.

 (IWM Photo, TR 832)

A pilot of No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, climbing into the cockpit of his Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V fighter at Goubrine, Tunisia, April 1943.

 (IWM Photo, CNA 1941)

Wing and squadron commanders of No. 244 Wing, RAF, at Triolo landing ground, south of San Severo, Italy.  Left to right: Squadron Leader P.S. "Stan" Turner, Officer Commanding No. 417 Squadron, RCAF; Squadron Leader P.H. "Hunk" Humphries, OC No. 92 Squadron, RAF; Wing Commander W.G.G. Duncan Smith, Wing Leader; Group Captain C.B.F. Kingcombe, OC Wing; Squadron Leader L.C. Wade, OC No. 145 Squadron, RAF, and Major M.S. Osler, SAAF, OC No. 601 Squadron RAF, c1943-1945.

 (RCAF Photo, PL 8515)

Supermarine Spitfire. F Mk. VIII (Serial No. JF336), coded AN-O, No. 417 Squadron, RCAF.  Harmonization of the guns.  The aircraft has to be jacked-up level to ensure the guns are lined-up correctly to test fire, ca Nov 1943.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. JF336), included the following data: Construction No. 4026, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin 63A engine, first flew (FF) 25 Feb 1943, 39 Maintenance Unit (MU), 26 Feb 1943, Fort Jersey, 11 May 1943, Casablanca, 30 May 1943, North West Africa, 1 Jul 1943, Middle East 1 Sep 1943, Mediterranean Army Air Force, 1 Nov 1943, No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, hit by flak and abandoned 8 Dec 1943.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire. F Mk. VIII (Serial No. JF880), No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, Italy, 1944.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. JF880), included the following data: Construction No. 4728, built at  High Post Aerodrome (HPA), powered by a Merlin 66 engine, first flew (FF) 31 Aug 1943, 39 Maintenance Unit (MU), 3 Sep 1943, 47 MU, 11 Sep 1943, shipped on the Ocean Rider, 23 Sep 1943, to Casablanca, North African Air Support Control (ASC), 31 Oct 1943, USAAF 31 Jan 1944, Mediterranean Army Air Force, 21 Jun 1945, struck off strength (SOC, 14 Mar 1946.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire. HF Mk. VIII (Serial No.), coded AN-O, No. 417 Squadron, RCAF, Italy, 1944.  Note the high-altitude wingtips.

No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, was initially established in England at RAF Digby in April 1942.  It was equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Va.  The squadron moved to RAF Fairwood Common in May 1942, and received Spitfire Mk. VB.  The squadron's motto was Bellicum cecinere ("They have sounded the war trumpet").  Its badge was, in front of two tomahawks in saltire, a First Nations warrior.  

During 1942 the squadron was under No. 10 Group and flew its missions from RAF Warmwell, RAF Bolt Head, RAF Ibsley, RAF Zeals and RAF Charmy Down.  In January 1943 No. 421 Squadron joined No. 127 (Canadian) Wing and moved to Redhill Aerodrome airfield.  Late in the spring of 1943 the squadron received Spitfire Mk. IX, and flew under the command of Wing Commander Johnnie Johnson.

In preparation for the Normandy landings, No. 127 Wing was assigned to RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force.  On 16 June 1944, No. 421 Squadron, along with the other squadrons of No. 127 Wing,  the first to be moved to Normandy, flying air superiority missions.  After the allied breakout and quick advance towards the Reich, No. 421 Squadron was based in Evere in Belgium by October 1944.  During December 1944 the squadron received Spitfire Mk. XVI.  In 1945 the unit participated in the liberation of the Netherlands, before moving into Germany.  At the end of the war the unit had achieved over 90 aerial victories.  The squadron was disbanded shortly after the end of the war.

 (IWM Photo, CL 236)

Squadron Leader Reverend H Crawford Scott, an RCAF Protestant chaplain, conducts an informal service in an orchard on the edge of B2/Bazenville, Normandy, attended by airmen from a servicing unit.  In the background a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX of No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, undergoes maintenance, 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CL 782)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXs of No. 421 Squadron RCAF prepare to taxi out from their dispersals at B2/Bazenville, Normandy, for a routine dusk patrol.

 (IWM CL1779)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIs of No. 421 Squadron RCAF, stand parked in the snow at B56/Evere, Belgium, as a Lockheed Hudson of Transport Command lands on the cleared main runway.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. SL721), coded AU-J, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, Reg. No. N9721WK, later Reg. No. C-GVZB.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. SL721), included the following data: Construction No. 4756 (also reported as No. 4494), built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 266 engine, 6 Maintenance Unit (MU), 27 Aug 1945, Fighter Command Communications Squadron (FCCS), Northolt, 10 Oct 1946, Vickers-Armstrong South Marston (VASM), 29 Oct 1946, Metropolitan Communication Squadron, 5 Feb 1948, Flying Accident Category A (FACA) damage, 17 Jul 1948, VASM, special finish, gun bays removed, converted to luggage compartment.  Delivered by M Lithgow to RAF Bovington for use of AOC Fighter Command, 17 Dec 1948, VASM, Feb 1949 repainted and modifications, No.  31 Squadron, 11 Apr 1949, Central Gunnery School (CGS) 4 Aug 1951, non effective strength (NES), 13 Dec 1954.  Sold to F.Wilensk, 11 Feb 1955, to the USA in 1966 as Reg. No. N8R.  Sold to D. Arnold, Reg. No. G-BAUP.   San Diego, Reg. No. N8WK.  Later Reg. No. N9721WK, now in Canada, Reg. No. C-GVZB.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XIVE, RAF (Serial No. RM747), fuselage c/n 6S–432296.  This aircraft is in storage in the Vintage Wings of Canada hangar at Gatineau, Québec.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. SL721), included the following data: Construction No. 6S.432296, built at Chattis Hill (CHA) in the UK.  Powered by a Griffon 65 engine, 33 Msaintenance Unit (MU), 17 Jul 1944, No. 322 (Dutch) Squadron, at Deanland near Hailsham, East Sussex, in the UK, 5 Aug 1944, exchanged with No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron, Hawkinge on 9 August.  After a very short time, No. 350 Squadron engaged incoming V-1’s on “Anti Diver” patrols and RM747 was first flown as such by F/O Verpoorten on the afternoon of 13 August.  It is believed to have been coded MN-D.  Its last sortie with No. 350 was in the late afternoon of 31 August when the squadron provided top cover for a force of 100 Lancasters bombing St Omer.

Although there is no record of any damage being incurred, RM747 is thought to have sustained Category B (CB) damage on or about 1 Sep 1944.  It was sent to Air Service Training (AST), probably at Hamble, for repairs on 9 September.  The repairs were not completed until 10 March 1945.  No. 451 Squadron, RAAF, British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), 29 Jun 1945, based at Fassberg, Germany, until it was disbanded the following month.  RM747 was then returned to the UK for storage at No. 29 Maintenance Unit (MU), at High Ercall, on 29 July 1945.  Following reconditioning, RM747 was air-tested as G-15-115, before joining the Royal Thai Air Force (Serial No. U-14-5/93), 10 May 1950.  During the 1980s it was part of a playground at Sawankalok, Thailand.  At some point, the wing (s) and cowlings of (Serial No. RM873) were fitted to (Serial No. RM747), while her engine and wings came from a Canadian Spitfire (Serial No. RM873). 

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. SL721), coded AU-J, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, Reg. No. N9721WK, later Reg. No. C-GVZB.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. SL721), coded AU-J, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, Reg. No. N9721WK, later Reg. No. C-GVZB.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. SL721), coded AU-J, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, Reg. No. N9721WK, later Reg. No. C-GVZB.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

 (Aldo Bidini Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE (Serial No. SL721), coded AU-J, No. 421 Squadron, RCAF, Reg. No. N9721WK, later Reg. No. C-GVZB.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

No. 430 Squadron, RCAF, was formed as the "City of Sudbury" squadron in 1943.  Initially created as an army co-operation squadron, No. 430 Squadron was redesignated as a fighter reconnaissance unit later that year.  The squadron flew Curtiss Tomahawk Mk. I and Mk. II, North American Mustang Mk. I and Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV fighters, while stationed in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.  In 1944, No. 430 Squadron flew photo reconnaissance missions in support of planning for the Normandy landings.  After D-Day, squadron missions included before-and-after photography of attacks on V-1 flying bomb launch sites and support for ground forces.  No. 430 Squadron was disbanded in Germany in August 1945.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk. XIV (Serial No. RM795), coded T, No. 430 Squadron, RCAF. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. RM795), included the following data: built at Supermarine (Super), powered by a Griffon 65 engine, 39 MU, 31 Aug 1944, 2 Squadron, 23 Nov 1944, No. 130 Squadron, repaired, failed to return (FTR) operations cancelled.  No. 414 Squadron, British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO), 3 Jan 1949, Reserve Pool, 20 Apr 1949, non-effective aircraft (NEA), 1 Aug 1950, sold, Vickers Armstrong (VA), 10 Nov 1950, to Belgian Air Force, 15 Nov 1950.

No. 441 Squadron, RCAF, was formed on 20 April 1942 at Sydney, Nova Scotia and flew Hawker Hurricanes as part of RCAF Eastern Air Command.  It was renumbered No. 441 Fighter Squadron when it transferred overseas to RAF Station Digby, Lincolnshire, England, on 8 February 1944.  It was posted to airfields in England, France, and Belgium throughout the Second World War, flying the Supermarine Spitfire.  When the squadron returned to England it was disbanded on 7 August 1945.

 (IWM Photo, CL 76)

Ground crew refuel and re-arm one of the first Supermarine Spitfires to land in France, a Mk. IX of No. 441 Squadron, RCAF, at Advanced Landing Ground B3/Sainte Croix-sur-Mer, Normandy, on the afternoon of 10 June 1944.

No. 442 Squadron, RCAF, was formed in Canada as No. 14 (Fighter) Squadron on 2 January 1942.  It was first activated in 1942 flying Curtis Kittyhawks as No. 14 Fighter Squadron with the RCAF Western Air Command, due to the threat to Canada's west coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The squadron moved to Alaska and participated in strafing and bombing missions against then-Japanese held Kiska during the Aleutian Islands Campaign

The unit was the fifth of six home squadrons transferred overseas (complete in personnel but without air­craft) in preparation for the Allied invasion of Europe, and was redesignated No. 442 (Fighter) Squadron at Digby, Lin­colnshire, England on 8 February 1944.  It flew Supermarine Spitfire air­craft on defensive and offensive air operations and, after D-Day, gave close support to ground forces in North-West Europe.  In March 1945 the unit was re-equipped with North American Mustang Mk. III fighters and was employed on long-range bomber escort duty.  The unit claimed over 58 enemy aircraft and hundreds of vehicles, locomotives and rail cars.  The squadron was disbanded at Molesworth, Huntingdonshire on 7 August 1945.  

No. 442 Squadron flew  the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VB (Feb – Mar 44, not on opera­tions), Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXB (Mar – Sep 44); Serial Nos. MH718 M MJ368 S MJ515 W MJ520 R MJ608 W MJ829 H MJ967 X MK131 X MK141 J MK149 B MK181 C MK193 E MK194 H MK206 I MK295 X MK464 Y MK777 Z MK826 X MK416 D NH325 H NH412 S PL280 F; Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXE (Sep 44 – Mar 45); Serial Nos. MH456 R MH728 L MJ425 T MJ466 J MK303 B MK564 M MK844 Y ML324 G NH369 F PL207 B PL213 W PL260 D PL330 K PL344 P PL423 V PL436 F PL493 E PL495 M PT402 I PT644 S PT883 A PV148 K PV190 A RR196 Q.

No. 409 Squadron also flew North American Mustang Mk. IV (Mar – Aug 45); Serial Nos. KH661 C KH665 V KH680 B KH694 P KH700 S KH709 J KH711 N KH729 A KH735 W KH737 D KH747 Y KH765 R KM122 F KM218 Q.

 (Mike Kaehler Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. IXe, (Serial No. TE294), painted as (Serial No. MK304), coded Y2-K, No. 442 Squadron.  The original Y2-K, (Serial No. MK304), was produced at Castle Bromwich, albeit as a Merlin 66-powered LF Mk IXe. 

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. TE294), included the following data: built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 70 engine, 39 Maintenance Unit (MU), 7 June 1945, No. 122 Squadron, 10 Apr 1946, Flying Accident Category A (FAAC) damage, 24 Sep 1946, repaired on site (ros).

The remains of this fighter were rescued from a South African scrapyard in the 1990s and partly rebuilt by volunteers at the Comox Air Force Museum as a millennium project and as an homage to the wartime pilots of No. 442 Squadron, RCAF.  No. 442 Squadron is currently an RCAF Search and Rescue Squadron based at 19 Wing, Comox, British Columbia.  It was restored at Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.  TE294 is now airworthy, and was first flown 7 June 2017.  It is painted as (Serial No. MK304), coded Y2-K, as flown by Flt Lt Arnold Roseland, No. 442 Squadron, RCAF.

 (RCAF Photo)

Y2K is dedicated to and carries the name of Flight Lieutenant Arnold Roseland of 442 Squadron.  Roseland was one of only a handful of Canadian fighter pilots who fought both the Japanese and the Germans during the war.  “Rosey” Roseland was a member of 14 Squadron, a P-40 Kittyhawk unit flying in the home defence of Canada’s West Coast and in combat operations in the Aleutian Island chain against Japanese Army and Navy positions on the island of Kiska.  Later in the war, 14 Squadron became 442 Squadron, reforming at RCAF Station Rockcliffe in Ottawa before going overseas and transitioning en masse to the Supermarine Spitfire.  Roseland flew in a Spitfire with the letter “K” on the side, “K” being used by at least three aircraft he had flown since 18 March 1944.  Roseland’s flight record in the Spitfire included 117 flights totaling 130 hours and 10 minutes.  He flew more than 50% of his Spitfire operations in a Y2-K–marked aircraft, making that aircraft in the squadron truly “his”.  In his nearly two years on P-40s and P-40 Kittyhawks before going to Europe, Rosey had 220 flights and 348 hours, flying out of Great Britain and France. 

F/L Roseland was flying one of the Spitfires, coded K, when he shot down a pair of Focke-Wulf Fw 190s.  He flew K on three separate sorties on 30 June 1944, just two weeks before he was killed.  His Squadron Intelligence officer typed it out afterward for his combat reports: 
 
“I was flying Yellow 3 in 442 Squadron which was on patrol heading due south at 1800’ just under layer of cloud in the vicinity of VILLER BOCAGE. I suddenly spotted 4 FW 190’s flying due North directly below yellow flight. I immediately broke 180º and down to attack at the same time reporting the presence of e/a [Enemy Aircraft] to the remainder of the squadron. The e/a sighted me and began climbing all out for cloud using violent evasive action but still in fairly compact formation and turning slightly to starboard. I attacked second from left from 20º to 0º opening fire from approx 450 yds. My first burst struck engine and cockpit and e/a began to smoke. I closed in slightly to line astern and my second burst hit tail and e/a immediately burst into flame and rolled over onto its back. I broke starboard and positioned myself on e/a to starboard, which was very near cloud. My port cannon jammed and I had difficulty in getting strikes on e/a which was using violent evasive action. By the time it entered cloud it was smoking badly. I followed into cloud for 30 sec. then diving slightly spotted e/a directly ahead. My starboard cannon also ceased firing so I fired short burst of M/G [Machine Gun - Ed.] until within 50 yards. E/A dove into cloud at an angle of 45º. Pilot apparently bailed out while in cloud. First e/a confirmed by F/L Wright. 

I claim 2 FW 190’s DESTROYED. Cine gun used [gun camera]

(SGD), A. Roseland. F/L.”

Arnold Roseland was just 28 years old when he died in an aerial gunfight over Normandy in the summer of 1944.  The No. 442 Squadron Operational Record Book, (ORB) for 13 July 1944 records he was flying another Spitfire, Y2P and that, "F/L A.W. Roseland, the Flight Commander of “B” Flight chased a Hun into the clouds and was not seen again."  He apparently died when his parachute caught on the tail of his burning Spitfire and he was thrown to his death when the aircraft struck the ground.  Since that day, Rosey’s remains have lain in a well-tended grave site at the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery in Calvados, France.  (Dave O’Malley, Roseland Spitfire Project)

No. 443 Squadron, RCAF, was originally formed as No. 127 (Fighter) Squadron in the fighter role in July 1942.  It operated along the East Coast of Canada (Including RCAF Gander in Newfoundland) flying Hawker Hurricanes until late 1943, when it was selected for overseas service.  Arriving in Britain on 8 February 1944, it was redesignated No. 443 Squadron at Bournemouth and was soon based at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire, together with Nos. 441 and 442 Squadrons as Article XV squadrons under the control of the RAF.

Working up on Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vs from RAF Westhamnett, the squadron received Spitfire Mk. IXBs the following month when a move was made to Holmesley South to form No. 144 Wing, RAF, 2nd Tactical Air Force and the squadron became operational.  The first sorties were flown as bomber escorts and until the invasion in June the squadron carried out deep penetration missions using 90 gallon drop tanks.  During the landings themselves, the squadron provided low level fighter cover and on 15 June it moved to France in the close-support and armed reconnaissance role. I

No. 443 Squadron became heavily involved in ground attack sorties and continued to move forward following the Allied advance through Belgium and into the Netherlands, to maintain its close air support of the ground forces.  Having returned to RAF Warmwell for an air-firing course the squadron missed the Luftwaffe's New Years attack on Allied airfields.  Unlike its two fellow squadrons, it did not return to Britain, but stayed on the continent, following the Allied armies advance into Germany equipped with the Spitfire Mk. XIV and Mk. XIVE.  With the end of the war the squadron joined the British Air Forces of Occupation until disbanding at Uetersen on 21 March 1946.

 (IWM Photo, CL 614)

A Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX of No. 443 Squadron taxies to dispersal at B-2 Bazenville, France, alongside a field where French farmers are gathering in the wheat, with a horse-drawn harvester and binder.

 (RCAF Photo via Phil Johnson)

A pair of Supermarine Spitfires of No. 443 Squadron, 127 Wing RCAF, beat up the airfield over the squadron’s flying control unit at Petit Brogel, Belgium, March 1945.  The aircraft nearest to the camera is a clipped-wing Spitfire Mk. XVIe (Serial No. TB476), coded 2I-D, piloted by the unit’s CO, Sqn/Ldr Art Sager.  His aircraft wore the name “LADYKILLER” painted on the cowling.

 (RCAF Photo via Claudio Montani-Adams)

F/L Alexander Hunter of No 443 Squadron RCAF stands next to a Spitfire Mk Vb at RAF Westhampnett in April 1944, shortly before the unit received the Spitfire Mk IX and a move was made to RAF Holmesley South. The first sorties were as bomber escorts and until the invasion in June the squadron carried out deep penetration missions using 90gal drop tanks. Hunter was among a batch of pilots that had arrived in Liverpool in January 1944.

Spitfire with Canadian markings

 (RAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VIII (Serial No. JF835), c/n 4612, coded UM-T, flown by RCAF Flying Officer Paul “Gus” Ardeline, DFC, serving with No. 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron, RAF, operating from Sinthe airstrip in Burma, in 1945.  The maple leaf is green, inside the blue and white roundel under a black panther.  F/O Ardeline shot down a Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-46 twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft code named "Dinah" on 24 Sep 1944 while flying this aircraft.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. JF835), included the following data: Construction No. 4612, built at Chattis Hill (CHA), powered by a Merlin 63 engine, first flew (FF) 7 Aug 1943, 39 Maintenance Unit (MU), 9 Aug 1943, No. 222 MU, 27 Aug 1943, Cardinal Gibbons, 3 Sep 1943, Casablanca, 20 Sep 1943, North African Air Support Control (ASC), 31 Oct 1943, India, 1 Jan 1944.

Spitfires flown in Canada

 (Len Moer Photo, Aerial Visuals)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XXIV (Serial No. VN332)Reg. No. N7929A.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. VN332), included the following data: built at Vickers-Armstrong, High Post (VAHP), powered by a Griffon 61 engine, armed with short-barreled Hispano Mk. V 20-mm cannon, test flown by W.J.G. Morgan for 15-min at South Marston, 25 Mar 1947, 47 Maintenance Unit (MU), RAF Sealand for storage.  28 May 1947, Task 322, for cold weather storage and cocoon testing.

Prepared for shipping to Canada, VN332 was embarked aboard the new Canadian Pacific liner SS Beaverlake during June and became the only Spitfire F.24 to enter North America.  Offloaded at the Port of Quebec, VN332 was shipped by truck to the RCAF Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE) in Alberta, 28 Aug 1947.   VN332 was late for its schedule of being made airworthy and the report indicates that, because of onset of winter, instrument or engine operation was left untested.  Erected and cocooned with products from the H.M. Hollingshead Company of New Jersey, USA, the Spitfire was coated in Hollingshead No. 1381 Cocooning Lacquer over their Insulmastic webbing agent, and an Aluminum Lacquer. After a few weeks for the process to be done, VN332 was presented to the elements in October 1947 and monitored until May 1948 when a heavy rain over the period of a week caused the covering to be removed and evaluated.  Again entombed in a protective solid coating, the second test ran from 16 August 1948 to 20 March 1950, encompassing two long winters.  Checked daily, the coating was evaluated assiduously and aided the RCAF in evaluating the viability of storing aircraft in an Arctic environment.  The experiment was a success with the report closing. 

 (Len Moer Photo, Aerial Visuals)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XXIV (Serial No. VN332), Reg. No. N7929A.

M.W. Lee Fairbrother, an ex-RCAF/RAF pilot, purchased the Spitfire, 21 Mar 1951.  Lee flew it to Wold Chamberlin Field in 1952 and the aircraft was painted in an attractive overall cream with emerald green stripe and registration with bare silver spinner scheme by DePonti Aviation, also based at the field. Lee was actually thinking about entering the plane in the Great Race and some work was done on the machine, Reg. No. N7929A.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IA, (Serial No. R7193).

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. R7193), included the following data: Construction No. 1493, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Merlin III engine, first flew (FF) 2 Mar 1941, 37 Maintenance Unit (MU), 4 Mar 1941, No. 313 Squadron, 4 Jul 1941, No. 57 Operational Training Unit (OTU), 27 Aug 1941, Flying Accident Category A (FAAC) damage, 24 Dec 1941 repaired on site (ros), Royal Navy Deposit Account (RNDA) Yeovilton, 10 Sep 1942, No. 761 Squadron, Henstridge, Oct 1942, No. 759 Squadron, Yeovilton, coded Y1-M, Jan  to Jun 1943. Shipped to Canada, in service with the RCAF Feb - Sep 1944, telephoto camera installed, Jul 1943.  R7193 was returned to the UK, 30 Dec 1944. 

Supermarine Spitfire LR Mk. Vc (Serial No. AR614).

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. AR614), included the following data: built at Westland Aircraft Limited (WAL), powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin 46 engine, 39 Maintenance Unit (MU), 24 Aug 1942, No. 312 (Czech) Squadron, Harrowbeer, damaged by flak, 11 Nov 1942, repaired on site (ros), Category C (CAC) damage on operations 14 May 1943, AST, No. 610 Squadron, 20 Nov 1943.  No. 130 Squadron, coded PJ-E, 30 Jan 1944, No. 222 Squadron, 16 Feb 1944, FAAC, 21 Feb 1944, repaired on site (ros), 530 Training Unit (TU), 2 Sep 1944, FAAC, 16 Sep 1944, ros, 5378M, 13 Jul 1945, later 6371 M and 7555 M. 

In July 1945, AR614 was allocated to RAF St Athan in South Wales, as an instructional airframe for maintenance personnel.   During the late 1940s and early 1950s it was on display at RAF Padgate in West Kirby and was eventually sold by the Ministry of Defence, in 1963, to the Air Museum in Calgary, Canada.  It was in open storage in a shipping crate at Calgary, 1964-1970.  Sold to Donald Campbell, Kapuskasing, Ontario, 1970-1992, Reg. No. C-FDUY, 1986.  Its intended long-term restoration to airworthy status was not completed.  Shipped to the Old Flying Machine Co., Duxford, UK, 1992.  

Ray G. Hanna/Old Flying Machine Co, Duxford, UK, March 19, 1993-1994, Reg. No. G-BUWA.  Alpine Fighter Collection, 
Audley End, Essex, UK, 1994-1998.
Rebuilt by Historic Flying, Audley End, UK, 1994-1996. First flight, 5 Oct 1996, coded
DU-Z.
Historic Flying Ltd, Audley End, UK, 25 June 1996-1998. Paul Allen, Flying Heritage Collection, WA, 1999-2000.
Flying Heritage Collection, Bellevue, WA, 10 Feb 2000-2001. Reg. No. N614VC. Flying Heritage Inc, Bellevue,
WA, 25 Apr 2001-2002.
Vulcan Warbirds Inc, Seattle, WA, 2004-2016. Currently in the UK, it is fitted with a Merlin 35
engine and Dowty Rotol propeller.  Hawker Restorations, UK. 
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP150), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
37 Maintenance Unit (MU),
14 June 1942, 76 MU 6 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP184), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
38 Maintenance Unit (MU), 1 June 1942, 76 MU, 6 Jul 1942, Canada, 2 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP311), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
33 Maintenance Unit (MU),
20 June 1942, 82 MU, 6 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP363), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
6 Maintenance Unit (MU),
20 June 1942, 76 MU, 7 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP431), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 33 Maintenance Unit (MU),
24 Jun 1942, 76 MU, 3 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP450), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 38 Maintenance Unit (MU),
28 Jun 1942, 82 MU, 5 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP462), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 33 Maintenance Unit (MU),
27 Jun 1942, 82 MU, 7 Sep 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP468), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 38 Maintenance Unit (MU),
28 Jun 1942, 76 MU, 6 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. EP540), built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF), powered by a Merlin 46 engine, 
M46 (Maintenance), 45 Maintenance Unit (MU),
1 Jul 1942, 82 MU, 8 Jul 1942, Canada, 3 Dec 1942, USSR, 1 Mar 1943.

 (Alan Wilson Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. IXe (Serial No. TD314), Reg. No. G-CGYJ, FX-P, 234 Squadron, Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill, Kent. Airworthy.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. TD314), included the following data: built at Castle Bromwich in late 1944 and fitted with 
a Merlin 70 as a High Level Fighter. She was one of the last high back Spitfires built as the production line switched to low
back aircraft in February of 1945. 33 Maintenance Unit (MU) at Lyneham, 30 Mar 1945, transferring later that month to 30 MU
before a further move to 6 MU where she was prepared for service with 183 (Gold Coast) Squadron at Chilbolton on 24 Jun 1945.
TD314 moved to 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron at Bentwaters on 26 Jul 1945. TD314 was transferred to 29 MU at
High Ercall for disposal on 27 Feb 1946.
In early 1948 TD314 was selected as one of the 136 Spitfire IXs to be sold to the
South African Air Force and she was sent to 47 MU RAF Sealand where she was packed for shipment, leaving Birkenhead on the
SS Clan Chattan 23 Apr 1948 and arriving at Cape Town on 12 May 1948. Details of her use with the SAAF are not known but
she was sold for scrapping to the South African Metal & Machinery CO, Salt River, Cape Town, sometime during 1954. She
remained in the scrap yard until recovered by Larry Barnett of Johannesburg in 1969. From there she passed through the hands
of several owners before arriving in the UK via Canada in 2009.
Acquired by Aero Legends in 2011, restoration commenced
at Biggin Hill culminating in a first flight on 7 Dec 2013. TD314 has been named “St. George” which is prominently
displayed on the fuselage.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. IXe, (Serial No. TE294), painted as (Serial No. MK304), coded Y2-K, in formation with McDonnell CF-188 Hornet (Serial No. 188757), Ottawa Airshow, 2020.

 (RAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V, RAF, with clipped wings.

 (IWM Photo, CH 2929)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB, (Serial No. R6923), No. 92 Squadron, RAF, 19 May 1941.

 (RAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, RAF.

 (DND Archives Photo, RE-20633-7)

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XIV (Serial No. RB151), Dec 1943.

The Form 78 for RAF (Serial No. RB151), included the following data: Construction No. 5114, built at Eastleigh (EA), powered by a Griffon 55M engine, first flown (FF) 30 Nov 1943, 33 Maintenance Unit (MU) 4 Dec 1943, No. 610 Squadron, 16 Jan 1944, 1 Contractors (Civilian) Repair Unit (CRU). Gem modifications 19 May 1944, No. 610 Squadron, Category C (CAC) damage on operations, 19 Sep 1944, repaired on site (ros), 39 MU, 21 Mar 1946, non-effective aircraft (NEA), 26 Feb 1951, to 6841M (Maintenance) 2 Jul 1951.