Jump to content

Belfast Telegraph Spitfires

Recommended Posts

There were seventeen of these Spitfires , all IIA paid for by the people of Northern Ireland ,they were named











Mid Ulster

City Of Derry


Mountains of Mourne




They Served with various units with only one "Down " Serving in Northern Ireland, at Ballyhalbert Co Down with 504 Sqn , it crashed outside Lurgan in January 1941 with Pilot Officer Walter McManus on board ,killing him. He is buried at St Josephs Ballycranbeg also in Co Down. The Ulster Aviation Society has repainted their full size replica Spitfire as Down and it was unveiled in these markings last Saturday.

I would like to build a full line-up of all these Spitfires in 1/72 , Revell have done previously Moumtains Of Mourne and recently Armagh in 1/32 and I have fond a 1/72 decal sheet by Xtradecal for Mountains of Mourne so that is on its way.

Does anyone know if the markings of any of the others are available of if anyone could make the names on decals for me.

Portadown served with 315 Sqn (PK-Kyrsia) at Northolt in August 1941 and as well as the Belfast Telegraph markings on the port side also had "East India Squadron on bothsides under the canopy ,

Pics from Saturday





  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Start here, Sniper:


Find the name then the serial number. I assume it is reliable, it seems to be very comprehensive.

There is also a book with similar information, I belleve.

Then go to:


From this incredible labour of love you can look up the serial number and find out a huge amount about the history of each of your Spitfires.

This will include the squadrons on which it served.

From then on Google may, or may not, be your friend.

Good luck! Oh, and my son works in Derry so I have a small interest in this one, too.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I presume you are aware of the Air Britain book Gifts of War, which includes the history of all presentation aircraft, but if not this should be your first call. I think that you'll be very lucky to find sets of markings available for each of these individuals, or even necessarily the individual codes of these aircraft with their units, but you won't know until you try (it isn't clear from your posting just how much work you've already). Generic transfer sheets for serials and code letters are available, and the unit codes can be found.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have full access to all the Ulster Aviation Society resources have so getting the codes and using available decal sheets they and serials will not be a major problem, the problem comes with the Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Fund and individual names markings.

P7683 Londonderry
P7684 Belfast
P7685 Harlandic
P7823 Down
P7832 Enniskillen
P7833 Portadown
P7834 Mid Ulster
P7835 Ballymena
P7838 Fermanagh
P7839 City Of Derry
P7840 Mountains Of Mourne
P7841 Larne
P7842 Bangor
P7843 Aldergrove
P7849 Armagh

P7683 - 603/111/123/58 OTU/56 OTU/58OTU. Collided with P8387 in formation and crashed, Hammering Mere farm, 19/8/43 DBF.

P7684 - 610. Missing after interception of Do215 off Isle of Wight 15/4/41.

P7685 - 610 Flew into hill in bad weather 2m NE West Dean, Sussex, 23/3/41.

P7823 - 54/504/152/504. Dived into Ground, Roughlean, near Lurgan, Co. Down 7/1/42 this is "Down"

P7832 - 72/74/610/340/61 OTU/52 OTU/FAC Gosport/5 PAFU. SOC 28/6/45.

P7833 - 54. Missing, believed after engine failure on patrol off Clacton 20/4/41.

P7834 - 66/609/313/417/52 OTU. Collided with P9562 during practice attack and crashed near Bear Inn, Cirencester 10/9/42.

P7835 - 66/609/118/308/315. Missing while escorting Blenheims over France 24/7/41.

P7838 - 611/602/122/177/AEAF CF. SOC5/6/45.

P7839 - 74/308/315/610. Hit ground recovering from dive 1m NNW of Bewholme near Catfoss 3/10/41.

P7840 - 64/340/53 OTU/CGS. SOC 5/6/45.

P7841 - 65/616. Caught fire in dispersal pen, Tangmere, 5/3/41; DBF.

P7842 - 66/118. Bellylanded in forced landing near Ibsley 3/5/41; DBR.

P7843 - 66/118/152/306/66. Collided with P8430 5m NW of the Lizard and crashed 24/1/42.


Link to post
Share on other sites

P7684 - P/O A R Ross killed. Patrol. FTR after combat with Ju88 off the Isle of Wight.

P7833 - P/O C Colebrook killed. Patrol. Shot down by Me 109 of JG51 1635 off Clacton. (Possibly P7383.)

Spitfire ? P/O J Czachowski. Circus. FTR. (315 Sqdn. pilot flying with 308.) As the only other 308/315 Spitfire lost that day is accounted for it seems likely this might be P7835.

'Belfast' was DW-S, 'Enniskillen' RN-S, 'Mountains of Mourne' GW-E, 'Aldergrove' NK-G, and 'Armagh' QV-J.

P7834 was RY-F with 313 Sqn
P7835 was ZF-S with 308 Sqn
P7839 was ZF-C with 308 and PK-T with 315

Spitfire Mk IIa P7832:RN-P ENNISKILLEN

Presented through the Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Shilling Fund, Mk.IIa P7832 was taken on charge at No.6 MU Brize Norton on 1 January 1941. On 12 January whilst ferrying from Brize Norton to Tangmere Fg Off W .C. Potter met deteriorating weather and had to make a forced landing at Farnborough, but overshot and hit an obstruction, causing Category C damage. The aircraft went on the 20th to No.1 Civilian Repair Unit at Cowley for repairs, and then was flown to No.12 MU Kirkbride on 7 April, to be allotted to No.72 (Basutoland) Sqn at Acklington on 23 April, flying convoy patrols. On 9 July, Nos.72 and 74 Sqns exchanged aircraft and bases, and No.74 (Trinidad) Sqn took over P7832 for convoy patrols.

Edited by sniperUK
Link to post
Share on other sites

From photos I've seen in the Belfast Telegraph newspapers archives the presentation writing on all the Spitfires was the same. For this coloured writing you'd need either an Alps printer or regular screen/litho printing for decals. Home printing wont do.

I believe Paul Parkes name comes up on this forum as someone who prints decals to order.

If he wants more than one sheet as an order, put me down for a sheet.

I'd thought of doing one or two of these myself in the long distant past and you've re-awakened the idea in me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have my references to hand but I'm sure I've read that many if not all of the presentation Spitfires' names were grey, not yellow.

I happen to have Boot and Sturtivant's book, mentioned above, which I very loosely paraphrase below.

Normally the names on presentation aircraft were applied at the factory. Once you or your fund had stumped up at least £5,000 required for a fighter the painting of the name would be arranged by the MAP through resident technical officers or contract managers at the relevant factories. These markings would follow the relevant Air Ministry order and would indeed have been in "grey paint (Stores Ref. 33b/157)." That's Sea Grey Medium to we model builders. When the aircraft rolled out of the factory it was photographed and a copy sent to the donor with a certificate and later a plaque commemorating the donation.

All bets are off for aircraft marked on squadrons or elsewhere after they had left the factory.

I have to say that the aircraft above does look to have a pretty standard Castle Bromwich marking which I would expect to be grey, but I'm sure that the Ulster Aviation Society has done its research. A picture of a Typhoon with yellow lettering was posted somewhere here recently.



Edited by Stonar
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for confirming my hazy memory of reading the Boot & Sturtivant book. Now who did I lend mine to?

I know the feeling! Somebody has my volume four of the 'Classic' Me 262 series...and I can't afford another one :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

P/O Czachowski was indeed lost in P7835 ZF-S.

P7833 PORTADOWN never served with any Polish unit. P7855 PK-K had the serial number applied in such a style that the 5s are often mistaken for 3s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

P7833 (if that's correct) 'PORTADOWN' to No.54 Sqn at Hornchurch on 5th April 1941, coded KL-L. The rest is above. The 'C' is for 'Christopher' Colebrook (86344).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...