Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 3: The Second World War, and post-War, Supermarine Spitfire and Seafire

Canadian Warplanes, the Second World War and post-War, Supermarine Spitfires and Seafires

Data current to 14 Dec 2018.

The Supermarine Spitfire is a single-seat fighter aircraft flown by the RCAF during and after the Second World War.  Many variants of the Spitfire were built in the UK, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft.  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 Spitfire 300 Mk. I, IA, 329 Mk. IIA (1), (Serial No. L1090), 329 Mk. IIB (3), (Serial Nos. P8332, ER824 & one unknown), 349 Mk. V (3), (Serial Nos. R7143, X4492, X4555), 349 Mk. VB, 359 Mk. VIII (1), (Serial No. JG480), 361 F. Mk. IXC, Mk. IXE, Mk. XVI (1), (Serial No. TE214), 365 PR. Mk. XI, 379 Mk. XIV (1), (Serial No. TZ138), 380 F. Mk. XVIE, Mk. XIX (1), (Serial No. PM627), for a total of 11 aircraft on RCAF strength in Canada.

 (Doug Smith Photo)

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

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

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

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

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

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. II, RAF (Serial No. P7923), DB-R, RCAF No. 411 Squadron.

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

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

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

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

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. X4555), Rockcliffe, Ontario, ca 1943.

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

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. R7143), 13 (P) Squadron, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 14 Jan 1944.

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

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V, Op Eclipse, RCAF, 20 Aug 1945.

 (RAF Photo)

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

(RCAF Photo via Francois Dutil)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB (Serial No. AD234), flown by P/O Hugh Godefroy, 401 Sqn, Oct 1941.

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

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB, RCAF No. 401 Squadron over Kent, England in 1942.

  (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.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA-136915)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXE pair, RCAF No. 412 (Falcon) Squadron,ca. 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CL186)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX of 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 propellor 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)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, MJ275, VZ-J & MJ452, VZ-L, 412 Sqn, RCAF with 250-lb bombs, Heesch, Netherlands. 

(IWM Photo, CL1451)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXE, 412 Sqn, RCAF with 250-lb bombs, assisted by a groundcrewman on the wing to stear around potholes in the runway, Vokel, Netherlands, 27 Oct 1944.

(IWM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXE, VZ-S,  412 Sqn, RCAF, Tilly-sur-Seulles, Normandy, 17 June 1944. 

 (RAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, RAF.

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

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, (Serial No. MJ832), DN-T, No. 416 (City of Oshawa) Sqn, RCAF.  This aircraft was damaged by flak in the Flenville area of France on 8 May 1944, but was repaired.  While flying this Spitfire, J22989 Squadron Leader Sten T. Lundberg was shot down by flak on 21 May 1944, while attacking a train in the Cayeux-Berck area.  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 home, he was a pioneer in early helicopter aviation in Canada.  The remains of his Spitfire were apparently collected but later abandoned by the Luftwaffe at Vught, Holland, 11 Nov 1944.

(RCAF Photo)

(RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188) in flight, now with the CA&SM.

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX (Serial No. NH188), CBAF IX 2161 with clipped wings.  This Spitfire was manufactured by the Supermarine division of Vickers-Armstrong Limited at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory in the United Kingdom in 1944.  In 1944 it flew with a Polish squadron and an RCAF squadron.  It was damaged by anti-aircraft fire around D-Day, and was stored by the RAF from late 1944 to 1946.  In 1946 the aircraft was sold to the Dutch Air Force.  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.  The Spitfire was written off after a crash in 1954. A private company then purchased the aircraft and rebuilt it to tow targets.  John N. Paterson of Fort William, Ontario purchased the Spitfire and brought it to Canada in 1961.  After rebuilding it, Paterson donated the aircraft to the Museum in 1964, flying it to Ottawa for Air Force Day.  (CA&SM)

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

Supermarine Spitfire F.R. XIVB, NV348, S, Violet Dorothy III, 414 (Sarnia Imperials) Sqn, RCAF.

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

Supermarine Spitfire F.R. Mk. XIVB, RAF (Serial No. NV348), S, Violet Dorothy III, RCAF No. 414 (Sarnia Imperials) Squadron.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire F.R. Mk. XIV, RAF (Serial No. RN119), RCAF No. 402 Squadron.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire F.R. Mk. XIV, RAF (Serial No. RM795), RCAF No. 430 Squadron.

 (RCAF Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV, No. 414 Sqn, RCAF ca. 1945.



Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV, CF-GMZ.  This aircraft placed 4th in the 1949 Tinnerman Air Races in the USA with a top speed of 359.565mph.  ( J.H.G. MacArthur Photo, courtesy of the San Diego Air & Space Museum)

Supermarine Spitfire 361 Mk. XVI (Photo courtesy of Alan Wilson)

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

 (Aldo Bidini Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe (Serial No. SL721), C-GVZB, 421 Squadron, N9721WK.  Refinished in the markings of AU-J from No. 421 Squadron RCAF.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.

Supermarine Spitfire F Mk. XIVe (Serial No. RM747).  This aircraft is in storage.  It served with No. 322 (Dutch) Sqn, No. 350 (Belgian) Sqn, No. 451 (Australian) Sqn, before serving with the Royal Thai Air Force as (Serial No. Kh.14-5/93).  During the 1980s it was part of a playground at Sawankalok, Thailand.

 (Mike Kaehler Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. IXe, (Serial No. TE294), painted as (Serial No. MK304), Y2K.  The original Y2-K, MK304, was produced at Castle Bromwich, albeit as a Merlin 66-powered LF Mk IXe.  Delivered to 39MU in January 1944, it served briefly with No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron before being transferred to No. 442 Squadron RCAF on 7 February.   The remains of this fighter were rescured 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 442 Squadron.  442 is currently an RCAF Search and Rescue Squadron based at 19 Wing, Comox.  Restored at Vintage Wings of Canada, TE294 is now airworthy, and was first flown 7 June 2017.  It is painted as (Serial No. MK304), Y2-K as flown by Flt Lt Arnold Roseland, RCAF No. 442 Squadron.

 (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 marked with the letter “K” when he shot down a pair of Focke-Wulf Fw 190s.  He flew “K” on three separate sorties on30 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 442 Sqn 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)

RCN Supermarine Seafires

The Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Spitfire adapted for operation from aircraft carriers.  The RCN acquired 35 Seafire post-War.  Canada's Seafire Mk. XVs were flown from HMCS Magnificent and HMCS Warrior before being replaced by Hawker Sea Furies in 1948.

Supermarine Type 377 Seafire Mk. XV (35), (Serial Nos. PR375, PR410, PR425, PR428, PR434, PR451, PR458, PR460, PR461, PR470, PR479, PR494, PR496, PR498, PR499, PR500-06, SR459, SR464, SR530, SR545, SW793, SW802, SW809, SW815, SW860, SW869, SW870, SW909).

(RCN Photo via Fred Paradie)

Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV, RCN (Serial No. PR460).

(A Gibbons Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Supermarine Seafire, RCN (Serial No. PR498).

 (RCN Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV, RCN (Serial No. PR500).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584065)

Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV, RCN (Serial No. PR494), with silver spinner.  This aircraft was used for cold-weather testing, Armstrong, Ontario, 21 May  1947.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3584064)

Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV, RCN (Serial No. PR494), with silver spinner.  This aircraft was used for cold-weather testing, Armstrong, Ontario, 21 May  1947.

 (RCN Photo)

Supermarine Type 377 Seafire Mk. XV, RCN.

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine 377 Seafire Mk. XV (Serial No. PR451), TG-B,at HMCS Tecumseh, ca. 1977, before being restored and moved indoors.

 (Author Photo)

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine 377 Seafire Mk. XV (Serial No. PR451), TG-B.  Calgary, Alberta.

 (Author Photo)

Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV project.  Michael Potter, Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec.