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Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910/RF-D
 

Built at Castle Bromwich in 1941, Spitfire AB910 had a remarkable front-line operational career spanning almost 4 years. The aircraft was initially allocated to 222 (Natal) Squadron at North Weald on 22 August 1941 but was soon re-allocated to 130 Squadron with whom it flew several convoy patrols and also escort patrols to the daylight bombing raids against the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in December 1941.

In June 1942, AB910 was delivered to 133 (Eagle) Squadron at Biggin Hill. She flew 29 operational missions with this unit, including 4 sorties on 19 August 1942 during the fierce aerial battles in support of the Dieppe Raid, her pilots being credited with one Do217 destroyed and one damaged during these combats. AB910 continued to fly operationally up to July 1944, serving with 242, 416 and 402 (RCAF) Squadrons. With 402 Squadron she flew numerous cover patrols over the Normandy invasion beach heads on D-Day itself (6 June 1944) and on subsequent days.

In addition to these operational assignments, AB910 was held on charge by various maintenance units and, after mid-July 1944, she was relegated to support duties with 53 OTU at Hibaldstow and then with 527 Squadron (a radar calibration unit).

On 14 February 1945, whilst at Hibaldstow, AB910 famously flew with an unauthorised passenger. LACW Margaret Horton, a WAAF ground-crew fitter, had been sitting on the tail whilst the aircraft taxied out to the take-off point (as was standard practice) without the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Neil Cox, realising she was there. The pilot took off with Margaret still on the tail. The combination of her weight on the tail and her grip on the elevator very nearly had disastrous results but fortunately the pilot was able to regain control and one circuit later he landed with a very frightened WAAF still wrapped around the tail!

In 1947 AB910 was purchased by Group Captain Alan Wheeler and was placed on the civil register as G-AISU for air racing. After a heavy landing during the Kings Cup Air Race in 1953, she was returned to Vickers-Armstrong where she was refurbished and subsequently flown regularly by Jeffrey Quill until being donated to the Flight in 1965.

AB910 is presented as Spitfire Mk Vb, EN951/RF-D, the aircraft of Squadron Leader Jan Zumbach, Commanding Ofiicer of 303 (Polish) Squadron in 1942.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom
 

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb
AB910 - RF-D

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - AB910 - Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - United Kingdom  
 
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