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iconic RAF Spitfire: best propeller fighter plane ever produced.

July 17, 2015 Charles McCain 0 Comments

Historian & author Charles McCain Writes Iconic RAF Spitfire Best Prop Fighter of WW 2
A Royal Visit to the HQ of RAF Fighter Command at Royal Air Force station Bentley Priory. The operations rooms were in specially made underground bunkers. The home which is located in the London Borough of Harrow was purchased by the RAF in 1926.

George VI FC with Dowding

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, escorted by Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command, visit the Headquarters of Fighter Command at Bentley Priory, near Stanmore, Middlesex

(photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

RAF Station Bentley Priory was finally closed in 2008. Subsequently developed into luxury condominiums. The British Government continues to sell of its historic heritage to private interest which immediately close them to the public. For large sums of money you can now rent historic rooms in the Palace of Westminster which is the seat of the House of Commons for private parties. This includes the members dining room and bar where Winston Churchill was often found.

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Ground crew refuelling Supermarine Spitfire Mark IIA, P7420, of No. 19 Squadron RAF from a tractor-drawn petrol bowser at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire. This newly-arrived example was one of the few Spitfire Mark IIs to fly operationally with a front-line squadron before the end of the Battle of Britain.

 (photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

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A formation of Supermarine Spitfire Mark IIAs of No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron RAF dip their wings as they pass the saluting base during a visit by the Polish President, Władysław Raczkiewicz, to Northolt, Middlesex.

photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

 

Many Polish Air Force pilots made their way to Great Britain after the German’s over ran Poland. In spite of their antiquated aircraft, the Polish Air Force had put up a credible defense. AOC-in-C Dowding of Fighter Command was wary of these pilots at first. Few spoke English and he thought they might be too undisciplined. As it turned out, they learned English quickly and since they had been professional airmen and flying for a number of years they were some of the most experienced fighter pilots the RAF had.

Better, given what the Nazis were doing to their homeland, the Poles had a visceral hatred of the Germans. If they ran out of ammunition and were over England, Polish pilots often rammed German planes then baled out.

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Spitfire F Mark XIV, RB159 ‘DW-D’, being flown by the commanding officer of No. 610 Squadron RAF, Squadron Leader R A Newbury, when based at Friston, Sussex.

photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

 

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Flight Lieutenant Laurie of No. 222 Squadron, Royal Air Force warming up Supermarine Spitfire Mark V, BM202 ‘ZD-H’ “Flying Scotsman”, at North Weald, Essex. This aircraft was the second bearing this name to be paid for from donations made by LNER personnel, arranged through the company’s wartime headquarters at Hitchin.

(photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

 

1944t

The Spitfire XII had been in service for over a year when this shot was taken on 12 April 1944 of two Friston-based aircraft from No 41 Squadron. Essentially a Mk V airframe mated to Rolls-Royce’s powerful 1,735hp Griffon engine (which gave it a top speed of about 390mph at 18,00ft), the Mk XII was a low-level interceptor, equipping two home-defence squadrons. By 1944, however, enemy fighter-bomber incursions were rare and the Mk XIIs were being employed on offensive sweeps over northern France.

(photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)

#75th anniversary Battle of Britain#Air Chief Marshal#Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding#Air Marshal#Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command#Author Charles McCain#Battle of Britain#Bentley Priory#Charles McCain#Dowding#escorted#Fighter Command#Headquarters Fighter Command#King George VI#Queen Elizabeth#RAF#RAF Fighter Command Headquarters#Royal air force#Royal Air Force station Bentley Priory#Sir Hugh Dowding#Spitfire#Spitfire Mark V#Stuffy Dowding#Supermarine Spitfire

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