Spits and Bits

Spits and Bits

TE565, National Technical Museum Prague, Czechia

I’m a bit partial to historic aircraft and aviation history, and have been lucky to visit many museums and historic sites during my travels. I thought I would post some photos of Spitfires, Spitfire remnants and related artefacts that I have come across, and hope they will be of interest to other aircraft nuts. My far-from-conclusive list only includes aircraft from outside the United Kingdom.

Photographing aircraft in museums can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any decent camera gear and suffer from a lack of talent. Museums tend to be dimly lit with occasional spotlights, and Items in display cases are particularly problematic due to reflections. So apologies up front for the quality of the pics. I have tried to include basic information about each Spitfire without going into too much depth. Sources I have used are listed after each aircraft and links are provided at the end of the post. I am no expert, just an enthusiast, so please forgive any errors you may find.

New Zealand

Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Christchurch

Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe, serial number TE288, built at Castle Bromwich 1945, allocated to 501 Squadron RAF and 102 Fighter Refresher School RAF. Displayed as 385 Squadron RAF.

Spitfire TE288

TE288 was used in the movie ‘Reach For The Sky‘ (1955).

Spitfire TE288

.

Rolls Royce Merlin 61

Rolls Royce Merlin 61 from Flying Officer Johnny Checketts’ Spitfire Mk. IXB. Checketts, 485 (NZ) Squadron RAF, was shot down over France on 6th September 1943.

Bailing out of his burning aircraft, he was cared for by French villagers and assisted to make his way back to England on a fishing boat. The crash site of Checketts’ Spitfire was located in 2015, and the wreckage excavated from under three metres of soil. After cleaning and preservation work, the engine was sent to Checketts’ son in New Zealand, and subsequently donated to the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch.

(Air Force Museum of New Zealand, War Bird Registry)

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe, serial number TE456, built at Castle Bromwich 1945, issued to 501 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 1946 and 3 Civilian Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit in 1953. Displayed as it appeared c1948, 501 Squadron.

Spitfire TE456

TE456 was used in the movie ‘Reach For The Sky‘ (1955).

Spitfire TE456

(Auckland War Memorial Museum, Warbird Registry)

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Spitfire FR Mk. XIVe, serial number NH799, built at AldermAir Service Trainingon 1945, thought to have been allocated to 132 Squadron RAF Air Command South East Asia (India) in 1945, before being issued to 9 Squadron Royal Indian Air Force in 1946. Displayed as an aircraft of Air Command South East Asia.

Spitfire NH799

NH799 is in airworthy condition.

Spitfire NH799

(Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Avialogs)

Australia

Moorabbin Air Museum

Spitfire spinner on display at the Moorabbin Air Museum, Melbourne. Information provided states ‘This spinner (from a crashed aircraft) was recovered…in the 1970s from a remote operating base in the Northern Territory‘.

(Moorabbin Air Museum)

Germany

Aviation Museum Laatzen-Hannover

Spitfire FR Mk. XIVc, serial number MV370, built at Keevil 1945, issued to Air Command South East Asia (India) in 1945. Displayed as 41 Squadron RAF.

Spitfire MV370

(All Spitfire Pilots, The Air War, Warbird Registry)

Hangar 10, Zirchow

Spitfire FR Mk. XVIII, serial number TP280, built at Eastleigh 1945, issued to Air Command South East Asia (India) in 1946 then Royal Indian Air Force in 1947. Displayed as RAF aircraft.

Spitfire TP280

Since my visit, TP280 has been sold and is no longer at Hangar 10.

(Warbird Registry, All Spitfire Pilots)

France

National Air and Space Museum of Paris

Spitfire F Mk. XVIe, serial number RR263, built at Castle Bromwich 1944, allocated to RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force 1944-45. Displayed as TB597, 340 Squadron RAF ‘Ile de France’.

Spitfire RR263

RR263 appeared in the movie ‘Reach for the Sky‘ (1955).

Spitfire RR263

(Warbird Registry, All Spitfire Pilots)

Salis Flying Museum, La Ferté Alais

Spitfire F Mk. XIVe, serial number RM927, built at Supermarine 1944, allocated to 430 (Canadian) Squadron RAF 1945.

RM927 was withdrawn from frontline service in early March 1945 after sustaining flak damage.

(Salis Flying Museum, Spitfire Production List)

Poland

Polish Aviation Museum, Krakow

Poland First to Fight

Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe, serial number SM411, built in 1944, issued to 421 (Canadian) Squadron RAF. Displayed as TB995, 308 (Polish) Squadron RAF.

Spitfire SM411
Spitfire SM411
Aircraft of No. 308 (Polish) Squadron RAF.

Photograph on display, aircraft of 308 (Polish) Squadron RAF.

(Polish Aviation Museum)

Serbia

Aviation Museum, Belgrade

Spitfire F Mk. Vc, serial number MH592, built at Castle Bromwich 1943, stationed in North Africa 1943, No. 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron RAF 1945, Yugoslav Airforce post-war and designated 9486. Displayed as JK808, 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron RAF.

Spitfire JK448
352 (Yugoslav) Squadron RAF Spitfires

Photograph on display, 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron RAF Spitfires

Photograph on display, 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron RAF Spitfire

352 (Yugoslav) Squadron RAF Spitfire

(Spitfire Production List, Peter Arnold)

Malta

Malta Aviation Museum, Ta’Qali

Spitfire F Mk. IX, serial number EN199, built at Eastleigh 1942, allocated to 81 Squadron RAF North Africa 1943, 154 RAF Squadron Malta, ‘probably joining’ 1435 Squadron RAF mainland Italy, 225 Squadron RAF, 11 Oct 1945 – 3 Jan 1946 Air Sea Rescue and Communications Flight Malta, 73 Squadron RAF Malta.

Spitfire EN199

Displayed as Wing Commander R. Berry’s (D.F.C.) aircraft when he flew EN199 in North Africa.

Spitfire EN199
Spitfire EN199
Spitfire EN199

Photograph on display, EN199 on the flightline with 225 Squadron in Florence Italy, March 1945.

20mm Hispano Suiza Cannon Mk II ‘salvaged from an underwater Spitfire crash site’.

20mm Hispano Suiza Cannon Mk II

(Malta Aviation Museum, Warbird Registry)

Lascaris War Rooms, Valletta

Lascaris War Rooms, Malta
RAF Sector Fighter Control Room
Lascaris War Rooms, Malta
RAF Sector Fighter Control Room
Lascaris War Rooms, Malta

Metal signs for planning and operations including ‘SPIT’ and ‘BEAU’

Metal signs and ‘battle board’

Lascaris War Rooms, Malta

(Lascaris War Rooms)

Malta At War Museum, Valletta

Spitfire Malta

Photograph on display, Ta Kali Airfield, Malta

Photograph on display, re-arming, Malta

Spitfire Malta

(Malta At War Museum)

Greece

War Museum Askifou, Crete

Spitfire and Stuka seats

Spitfire seat on the right, Stuka seat on the left

(Askifou War Museum)

Athens War Museum

Spitfire Greece

Photograph on display

Photograph on display

Spitfire Greece

(Athens War Museum)

Czechia

National Technical Museum, Prague

Spitfire LF Mk. IXe, serial number TE565, built at Castle Bromwich 1945, issued to 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF 1945, then Czechoslovak Air Force. Displayed as TB565, 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron RAF.

Spitfire TE565

Museum information states that ‘Members of No. 310 Czechoslovak Squadron RAF returned to their country with the aircraft on display in 1945‘.

Spitfire TE565
Rolls Royce Merlin 66
Dress uniform belonging to Group Captain Josef Koukal DFC

Dress uniform belonging to Group Captain Josef Koukal DFC who flew Hurricanes and Spitfires with 310 and 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadrons RAF.

(National Technical Museum, All Spitfire Pilots, Warbird Registry)

Kbely Aviation Museum Prague

Mid-section of Mk IXe Spitfire's wing

Mid-section of Mk IXe Spitfire’s wing

Photograph on display, Spitfire Mk IXe Czechoslovakian Air Force

Mk IXe Spitfire Czechoslovakian Air Force

(Kbely Aviation Museum)

Egypt

El Alamein Military Museum

Spitfire F Mk. VcT, serial number BR491, built at Chattis Hill 1942, issued to 92 Squadron RAF in 1942.

Spitfire BR491

Canadian pilot Warrant Officer L.G. Edwards, 92 Squadron RAF, was killed when BR491 crashed into the sea off El Daba after having been ‘engaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire’ on 10th October, 1942.

Spitfire BR491
'A Spitfire of the Desert Air Force prepares to take off 1942'

Photograph on display, Museum information states: ‘A Spitfire of the Desert Air Force prepares to take off 1942‘.

Photograph on display, Spitfire Vb ER166, 145 Squadron RAF

Photo of ER166, 145 Squadron RAF

(El Alamein Military Museum, All Spitfire Pilots, Royal Air Force Commands, War Bird Registry, The National Archives)

Italian War Memorial

Spitfire remnants on display at the Italian War Memorial's small museum

Spitfire remnants on display at the Italian War Memorial’s small museum.

(Italian War Memorial)

Air Force Museum of New Zealand Home – Air Force Museum of New Zealand

War Bird Registry Warbird Registry – Supermarine Spitfire – A Warbirds Resource Group Site

Auckland War Memorial Museum War Memorial – Auckland War Memorial Museum (aucklandmuseum.com)

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Moorabbin Air Museum Moorabbin Air Museum – Home (aarg.com.au)

Salis Flying Museum Musée Volant Salis : Aviation Museum, First Flights, Events (musee-volant-salis.fr)

Spitfire Production List home (airhistory.org.uk)

Peter Arnold pers. comm.

Avialogs Avialogs: Aviation Library – Spitfire and Seafire registry

All Spitfire Pilots Spitfire pilots and aircraft database – (allspitfirepilots.org)

The Air War The Air War (air-war.org.uk)

Polish Aviation Museum Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie

Malta Aviation Museum Home – Malta Aviation Museum

Lascaris War Rooms Home | Lascaris War Rooms

Malta At War Museum Home | Malta at War (maltaatwarmuseum.com)

War Museum Askifou War Museum Askifou

Athens War Museum Home – War Museum

National Technical Museum Prague National Technical Museum (ntm.cz)

Kbely Aviation Museum VHU PRAHA

El Alamein Military Museum Al-Alamein Militray Muesum (mod.gov.eg)

Royal Air Force Commands RAF Research Databases on RAFCommands.com

The National Archives Warrant Officer L G Edwards (RCAF): killed; Spitfire BR491, 92 Squadron, engaged by… | The National Archives

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4 thoughts on “Spits and Bits

  1. Nice site, come to the uk we have a few knocking around. You can see them fly at duxford. I’ve added a picture of one from RAF Hendon.

    1. Hello James – another James C! Glad you like the site. I was lucky enough to visit Duxford a few years back, and saw a Spitfire come in and land which was an unexpected bonus! But I’ll have to come back sometime to spend more time looking around all the aviation museums in the UK. You’re definitely spoiled over there! Unfortunately you pic didn’t load – please try again if you have a moment! Thanks for taking the time to comment

  2. The Mark XIV in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre was badly damaged in a crash on takeoff at Wanaka Airport in 1996. Nineteen years later, freshly restored to flying condition, it made its first public appearance at the Classic Fighters Omaka 2015 air show. The aircraft is now part of the Dangerous Skies exhibition in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. It flies at the CFO air shows and on other occasions, but only at Omaka.

    1. Hey Bruce, thankyou for all the information! I spent two days exploring the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre – it’s an amazing place. I’ll have to try and get to one of the Air Shows there one day to see the Mk XIV fly!

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