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Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Ia - AR213/JZ-E
 

Spitfire Mk Ia G-AIST was built by Westland at Yeovil and was never used in combat during it's life with the Royal Air Force. After completion she was delivered to 12 MU (Maintenance Unit) July 24, 1941. From there she was transferred to 57 OTU (Operational Training Unit) July 31, 1941 and transferred to 53 OTU on February 20, 1943. She went to 8 MU for storage on August 17, 1944 until it was struck off charge on November 30, 1945.

After it was struck of charge she was sold to Group Captain Allen Wheeler on March 10, 1947 and registered G-AIST. The original plan was to use her for air racing, but this never happened. She went into storage until 1967 when it was brought back to flying condition for "the Battle of Britain" film.

She was then flown by Allen Wheeler at Wycombe Air Park for several years before being sold to Hon Patrick Lindsay in 1978. Following Lindsay's death on January 9, 19866, she was sold to Victor Gauntlett and Peter Livanos at Personal Plane Services (PPS) at Booker, High Wycombe, in April 1989. Victor Gauntlett died in 2003 and G-AIST underwent a major overhaul and reconstruction at PPS, Booker, High Wycombe and was operated by Sheringham Aviation.

Her permit to fly expired in 2002 and it was decided to completely rebuild her to give her another 20 years of airworthy life. She underwent an intensive and costly restoration by Personal Plane Services to bring the aircraft as close to its original build as possible.

Her first post-restoration flight was on November 12, 2007 from Booker, High Wycombe, still in primer and awaiting a new paint scheme. She was finally repainted in authentic 57 OTU colours, and coded JZ-E. This colour scheme represents AR213 as personal aircraft of Flight Lieutenant James Harry 'Ginger' Lacey while he was posted as an instructor pilot for a rest period.

Lacey had shot down more enemy aircraft then anyone else during the Battle of Britain; his final tally was 28 confirmed, four probables and nine damaged. "Ginger" Lacey was one of the few RAF pilots on operational duties on both the opening and closing day of the war. His final tally was 28 confirmed, four probables and nine damaged.

After the war was over, Lacey went to Japan with 17 Squadron, becoming the first Spitfire pilot to fly over Japan on 30 April 1946. He returned to the UK in May 1946. Lacey retired from the RAF on March 5, 1967 as a Flight Lieutenant; he retained the rank of Squadron Leader.

 

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Ia
G-AIST - AR213/JZ-E

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Ia - G-AIST - Sheringham Aviation - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Ia - G-AIST - Sheringham Aviation - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Ia - G-AIST - Sheringham Aviation - United Kingdom   Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk Ia - G-AIST - Sheringham Aviation - United Kingdom
 
 
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