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Thread: Grimsby Spitfires, R7231, R7265 & BL588

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    Default Grimsby Spitfires, R7231, R7265 & BL588

    The standard reference work on presentation Spitfires, "Gifts of War" (H. Boot & R. Sturtivant; Air-Britain) includes the service histories of "Grimsby I"(R7265 & BL588) and "Grimsby II" (R7231). Unfortunately, the book does not include any photographs of these particular aircraft. The narrative records that the major donor to the Grimsby Spitfire Fund was a local trawler owner, Mr Edwin Bacon.

    I worked in the engineering shop of the fishing company he founded for over thirty years. A descendant of the founder is compiling a company history and recently asked me if any photographs of "Grimsby I" and "Grimsby II" exist. He has not been able to find any within the local resources, including newspapers and libraries.

    Sadly, both of the authors of "Gifts of War" are no longer with us and my inquiry on the Air-Britain information forum has not resulted in any photographs.

    A search of the online Newspaper Archive has turned up several contemporary newspaper articles relating to the Grimsby Spitfire Fund but again no suitable photographs.

    This is rather a long-shot but I am now posting this inquiry here on the RAF Commands forum hoping someone might know of a photograph of the Grimsby Spitfires , or have one in their personal collection and would be prepared to share it with the company.

    Thank you, C.A. Broadhurst

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    I can't help with photos but I would suggest that you post your request on the Flypast board https://forum.keypublishing.com/ There is a guy there who goes as "Mark XII" who has forgotten more about Spitfires than most of us will ever know. My other suggestion, if you have not done so already, is to check out the squadrons that used these aircraft: R7231 flew with 611, 332, 64Sqn; R7265 with 91, 72, 313, 403Sqn; BL588 with 134, 81, 331Sqn. The presentation inscription may not have been preserved on the aircraft for very long so best concentrate on 611, 91 and 134...

    Steve

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    Steve,
    Thank you very much for your suggestions. FlyPast/Historic Forum was to be my next port of call. I had not considered the Squadron ORBs as the monthly editions I have downloaded in recent times did not include any photographs. Is this unusual?
    Tony Broadhurst

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    Tony
    If there are any photos in the ORB, they are usually in appendices, but it is rare. I recall being told that some squadrons kept albums, and that they are kept somewhere (guess AHB), but I do not know if it is true.
    What I would do, would be to check if there are any historians of squadrons in question. If no help there, then I would check ORBs for pilots flying in those Spitfires, and pilots in general for the period. Then I would try to find their families, and ask for any photos they may have, and also for log books, trying to establish individual codes. It is time consuming, but I think it is the only way. Mind you the aircraft may appear on the background, hence codes are importnat for identification.
    Franek
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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    Tony my post was misleading about ORBs but Franek has put it right.
    R7231 and BL588 both flew with Norwegian squadrons 332 and 331. I know a massive history of one of these squadrons has been published in recent years and it often seems to be the case that there are far more photos from these Allied sqns in circulation. Having said that altho you might be able to identify the aircraft it may not carry the "Grimsby" inscription.

    Steve

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    Franek and Steve,
    Thank you both for the replies. I spent some pleasant hours yesterday searching the Internet for sites relating to the three Spitfires and Nos. 331 & 332 Squadrons. There was a very fine website dedicated the two Norwegian squadrons. I assume it is no longer active as the pages came up via the "Wayback machine". Some pics were no longer available but there was a good selection of Spitfires in the photo albums. I will try the same with the other listed squadrons later today.
    Many Thanks, Tony

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    There were some chaps from Norway active, but I have not seen them for a while. It would be good to contact them, as they may have some photos that were never published.
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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