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  1. 441 Squadron replace 611 on 31 Dec 44 and use VIIs in February and March 1945 but there are no details beyond the number of non-operational hours, 2 and 23 respectively.
  2. https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235091216-colour-of-spitfire-mk-1-fuel-tank-filler/ i don’t think this came to a conclusion but I’ve not re-read it to check
  3. I have experience. It was an interesting one. Mostly despair but definitely interesting
  4. To follow this up I note that DK Decals have MB763 as KS-Z in their 313 Squadron set. This plane was damaged at Skeabrae in July 1944 when 313 Squadron were based there. Is there a photo of DU codes on VIIs other than MD114?
  5. I think they also used the ‘clipped, clapped and cropped’ (their words) Vbs left behind by 453. Clostemann’s book describes the fun-filled train trip they had to get to the Orkneys! MD114 (corrected from my erroneous 118) arrives at Skeabrae while 602 are there and is used by them at least once.
  6. I had a look at 602 and nothing, I also went back over 453 who were there from October 1943 and nothing. Where the VIIs are used by 453 it gives the aircraft letter but no squadron code; G=MB765, Y=MB828, Z=MB763
  7. and a bit more on Reynolds on this link detailing his aviation experience before reaching 103 MU
  8. Like others this is my feeling too. It must have been glorious on first flight after the Vs. I've bashed a couple of very crude XIIs just to keep them in the cabinet with all the other Spitfires but they are not my finest hour. I would love a better kit but I cannot see me buying more than a couple. XIVs on the other hand...
  9. Q1 Are there any other flights that I have missed? I now wonder whether I have overlooked some modified SHFs hiding in plain sight on this topic! I think when this first came up I convinced myself that the modification was just a paint scheme as the planes were used for low level work in Corsica. Obviously the high altitude scheme makes no tactical sense in that scenario. 451's ORBs during this period are pretty hard to read in the digital versions but I reckon that the IXs were used in Egypt early in 1944 for interceptions before the move to Corsica. Then the possibility of modifications for high altitude work make more sense, along with the tropical filter and the high altitude scheme. This topic includes a photo showing a line of 451 IXs and I can see four that have the red/blue fin stripes. The nearest, MA466, is well represented in modelling. I suppose that MH324 (seen in a photo on this post) could be another. It was MH324 that prompted this rethink as the photo appears in this video described as "modified high-altitude Spitifirt Mk IX". (thank you to whoever pointed me in the direction of this video)
  10. Q12 Is there any more biography for Reynolds or Gold? I've had a bit of progress on Arthur George William Gold. I have updated a biography on allspitfirepilots : https://allspitfirepilots.org/pilots/3069-arthur-gold which relies heavily on this link together with some input from Ancestry.
  11. Q7. Were the Ju86s in the Middle East R1s or P2s? My previous comment "I think they were probably R1s given the ceiling they were able to keep. That might also explain why they were hard to identify." This link on weaponsandwarfare.com suggests that the answer is probably "both". Initially 4 86s were transferred to Crete in June 1942 which would be P2s. This core group was gradually whittled down to zero by Sept 1943 (according to this link).. Two more 86s arrived in April 1944 which could well have been the R1s. The weaponsandwarfare page is not consistent about the types. This RS Models kit has the P2 4U+1K which was (according to this link) the aircraft shot down in July 1943. And there's one avaiable on eBay! Normally I only model Spitfires but I have previously made an exception for a V1... No, there's not room in my display cabinet.
  12. I have a 1954 English version and the wording is the same as you have quoted here. “VIIs” and “109G”
  13. The Pierre Clostermann topic prompted me to do some more looking at Mk VIIs. “The Big Show” claims that when they arrived in the Orkneys 602’s fitters removed the machine guns leaving only the cannons, which is consistent with the suggestion referenced by Alfred Price (my question 11). Of course Price may have been relying on Clostemann’s account, though we know how reliable some of that detail is. When 602 arrive at Skeabrae in January 1944 the station has four VIIs allocated. Three early ones (MB763, MB765 and MB828) which arrived in August and were initially allocated to 312 Squadron but get transferred to the station flight on 8 November. The fourth is the photographed MD114. The photo of MD114 is from behind so it is not possible to confirm either way but of course it could be from before 602’s arrival. Three more are added during February and March: MD118, MD122 and MD138. And to contradict it, Blair’s account here confirms the use of 0.303” rounds. So still an open question. I’m glad I looked at this as it prompted me with something obvious. SF stands for Station Flight so aircraft allocated to “SF Northolt” does not necessarily indicate anything special.
  14. Sorry, I meant to include the reference. It's a footnote to 'Spitfires over Malta'.
  15. I'm wary of getting too interested in Malta Spitfires as I can already see how much time could be spent on it! But here goes, just on the transfer of 601 Squadron. The ORB for 23 June says "S/Ldr Bisdee DFC and 8 pilots" had arrived at Aboukir from Malta though it does not says how many planes. Michael le Bas is quoted in Alfred Price's book as flying "one of 8 Spitfires". Of the 8 quoted I think BR459 is operation Salient rather than Style. Your proposed BP977 does fly with 601 in Egypt but not until 5 August, presumably meaning it needed to be repaired after the accident on 26 June. So 9 Spitfires are recorded on Malta and also with 601 in Egypt. In Alfred Price's "Spitfire A Documentary History", Le Bas confirms the first stage of the flight from Malta to LG07 near Mersa Matruh as 800 miles, for which they used the 90 gallon tank, before staging on to Aboukir. Price says no more Spitfires were exported from Malta to Egypt, and the Battle of Mersa Matruh started on the 26th and was all over by the 29th which prevented any further flights. Brian Cull lists 10 Spitfires, 4 of which match the list above: BR136, BR175, BR192, and BR232. Of the other six, I think two are exports to Takoradi (BP983 and BR114), two are probably exports to Takoradi (BR134 and BR135) and the remaining two are probably lost in Malta but the Movement cards look odd: BR133 FF 3-4-42 8MU 4-4-42 RAF Abbotsinch 26-4-42 Malta 8-6-42 FACE 10-5-43 SOC FH8.20 NAfricanASC 31-10-43 SOC 8-3-44 BR344 FF 16-4-42 6MU 18-4-42 RAF Renfrew 28-4-42 Malta 8-6-42 ? SOC 17-5-42 BR133 is SOC twice; BR344 is SOC in May following the accident in Malta that killed Sgt Frank Stanley Howard (777674) who died of wounds on 20-5-42. Regarding the number of pilots that made the journey, using the ORBs and Brian Cull's Spitfires over Malta I can identify 26 pilots in total, first flying Egypt in the period between 1 and 13 July.
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