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Thread: Which Mark is this Spitfire?

  1. #1
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    Default Which Mark is this Spitfire?

    Can anyone tell me, please, which Mark of Spitfire this is? http://brew.clients.ch/BillsSpit.jpg

    It is a picture of my great uncle Bill, either at 57 OTU (23 April-9 June 1941) or with 41 Squadron (16 June-27 August 1941).

    Unfortunately, there are no identifying marks on the aircraft, e.g. serial or lettering, but if it's a Mk. I, it will be during his time with 57 OTU, but if it's a Mk. IIa or Va/b, then it will be with 41 Squadron.

    Any clues or suggestions?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Default

    It isn't a Mk.V, for that had a circular oil cooler rather than the semi-circular one visible here.

    The lack of unit codes (which should be just visible, I think?) suggests the OTU.

    The distinguishing feature of a Mk.II is the bulge for the Coffman starter - but he is standing on the wrong side for that to be visible.

    It might be possible to take a hint from the shape of the propellor blade: I think that looks more like the DH blade (usual fit for a Mk.1) rather than the Rotol (usual fit for a Mk.II), but even if (big if) the identification is right it wouldn't be proof, for there were some the other way around.

    So on balance I think it is a Mk.I, but I can't be sure.

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    Thanks Graham

    I thought it might be at 57 OTU, but had no proof. I think it's a photo home to his parents in Sydney of 'the proud pilot with his first Spitfire' over in England doing his bit.

    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Default Spitfire Mk?

    G'day Steve

    No. 41 (F) Squadron used the Spitfire Mk. IIA until August 1941. It was superced by the Mk. V. Since it does not appear to be a Mk. V, then by process of elimination, it has to be a Mk. IIA providing that's where the photo was taken.

    No. 57 O.T.U. used both the Spitfire Mk.'s IA and IIA.

    What I find of interest is the anti-glare shiield on the cowling.

    Cheers...Chris

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    Hi Chris

    41 ceased flying Spit. IIa's on 28 July, and re-equipped with Spit. Va's and b's, when they swapped aircraft and bases with 145 Squadron. 41 headed south to Merston from Catterick for the last time and 145 headed north from Merston to Catterick on this date. In doing so, the two squadrons took over each others aircraft.

    So, if it's not a Spit. V, then the photo can definitely be dated between 23 April 1941 (commencement of OTU) and 28 July 1941 (re-equipment to Spit. V's). That said, I think Graham's suggestion ("The lack of unit codes (which should be just visible, I think?) suggests the OTU") has some merit, and I tend to lean in this direction.

    It's possible it will never be dated 100%, but I think a photo at OTU (23 April-9 June 1941) seems most likely.

    Thanks for your repsonse
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Not that easy, Steve. OTUs had their codes, and in the transition period, many Squadrons kept a single or a pair of earlier mark Spitfires for training and as hacks. Being non operational, they could not appear in the ORB.

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    Hi Franek

    Ah, yes, of course, good call. On checking my notes, I see that 41 Squadron did in fact have a Spitfire I (X4472) as a hack between 22 June and 22 July 1941.

    Aaargh! I give up!!! :-)

    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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