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Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - BM597/JH-C
 

Built at Castle Bromwich and delivered to 37 Maintenance Unit on May 26, 1942. Initially she was allocated to 315 (Polish) Sqn in May 1942 but after just 4 months of service she was transferred to fellow Polish 317 Sqn where she carried the code JH-C.

She was involved in a landing accident and declared Cat. B on February 13, 1943 and required extensive repair at De Havillands and modifications at Vickers-Armstrong before passing through 33, 39, and 222 Maintenance Units and issued to 58 Operational Training Unit in April 1945. In October 1945 she was converted to an instructional airframe at RAF St Athan and issued with the serial 5718M.

Relegated to display duties it was paired with AR614 at RAF Hednesford where she was gate guardian from 1952-54, then to RAF Bridgenorth before transfer to RAF Church Fenton. She was recalled to service for the 'Battle of Britain' film in 1967 it provided the master model for the fibre glass replicas. Back at Church Fenton in 1969 for a further 20 years where she was gate guardian.

With 4 more years at Linton on Ouse as gate guardian from 1975-79, she was sold by the MoD to Historic Flying Ltd. Moving firstly to Braintree then onto the new facility at Audley End. In the meantime she was sold on to the Historic Aircraft Collection in October 1993. Work continued at Audley End culminating in a first flight on July 20, 1997, with the registration G-MKVB. She was temporarily in new paint scheme in 2000 for Pearl Harbor film with markings AR352 (RF-C).

She flew to Malta along with Hurricane 'Z5140'  as part of the project "Merlins over Malta" it was for the first time since 1952 that she and the Historic Aircraft Collection's Hurricane flew in the Maltese skies.

The Spitfire was painted with code U-2 that was to join 603 Squadron. When the aircraft were put aboard the USS Wasp they were wearing standard camouflage schemes but on the deck of an aircraft carrier sailing through the Mediterranean these camouflage patterns offered no protection. The solution was to paint the top surfaces of the aircraft blue. Paint was taken from the stores and applied to the aircraft.

She is currently painted in the colours of 317 (Polish) Squadron, wearing the code JH-C.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb
G-MKVB - BM597/JH-C

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom
 
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Vb - G-MKVB - Historic Aircraft Collection - United Kingdom  
 
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