Atlantic Crossing with a Spitfire

Spitfire Site

Click to enlarge images A 1947 Shell advertisement published in the magazine Aeronave, proudly showing Argentina’s sole Spitfire PR Mk. XI shortly after its ...

Click to enlarge images

A 1947 Shell advertisement published in the magazine Aeronave, proudly showing Argentina’s sole Spitfire PR Mk. XI shortly after its direct flight over the Atlantic in the hands of Capitán Jaime Storey (in the cockpit).

Acquired by a civilian operator for aerial mapping purposes, the Spitfire PR Mk. XI PL972 was purchased from Air Ministry surplus in 1947. Argentinean ex-RAF PRU Spitfire pilot, Capitán Jaime (James) Storey brought the aircraft to the country, flying on 29 April 1947 from Hurn, England, via Gibraltar, Dakar, then over the Atlantic to Natal, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and then finally to Buenos Aires. With a 170-gallon slipper tank and two custom-built 20-gal tanks in the wing roots, the aircraft could carry over 400 gallons of fuel to an endurance of 10 hours, marginally more than 8,5 hours required for a direct Atlantic crossing. The flight was completed on May 5, 1947.

Storey’s endeavour counts as the longest recorded Spitfire flight ever. As his aircraft lacked long-range navigation instruments, the passage of the ocean was made in the company of Avro York of British South American Airways (BSAA). The Shell oil company provided fuel, lubricants and service enroute.

Upon arrival at Buenos Aires the Spitfire received the civil registration LV-NMZ. [Ricardo Dacoba coll.]

15 Comments | Add New

By Susan Maas  |  2011-11-07 at 16:34  |  permalink

I am the daughter of James Elwyn Storey and have finally found the logbook containing the flight details of this trip, together with other flying hours done in this plane by my father.

He also was part of the crew who sailed the ‘missing’ trawler the Girl Pat back to the UK in April/May 1937.

I can be contacted at the above email address via the Editor of this site, if anyone is interested.

By carlos planas  |  2011-11-18 at 03:55  |  permalink

Susan:

Good day!!

Pleasure to meet you via e-mail. Yes! we would like to hear, see the pics, scans of all the details of that flight across the pond c. 1947. Specially pictures of your father and how the plane looked like in the U.K.

Plz join us at the following link and tell us your father’s story. http://www.pista01.com

Tks in advance!

By John Nutt  |  2012-01-05 at 13:38  |  permalink

Hi Susan,

Just playing around with google and put in your Father’s name. Well You and John have already put me in the picture. Still think that you should go ahead with that documentary. Surely the RAF Association are interested. Try William and Kate just up their street.

All very best wishes plus the “Buffalo Seal of Approval.

John

By Ricardo Lezon  |  2012-01-12 at 14:58  |  permalink

Hello Susan:

My name is Ricardo Lezon, I´m the co-author of Spitfire across the Atlantic.

I would to contact you via e-mail. Still have some photos your mother sent me while I was preparing the article/book.

Please send me an address to send them.

Best regards

Ricardo Lezon

By carlos Rivero  |  2013-07-29 at 16:04  |  permalink

dear Susan,
My name is Carlos Rivero, I am an aeronautical engineer and a flight instructor, living in The Netherlands since 1990. It is an honour to know the daughter of the great James Storey. I originally come from Dolores (Buenos Aires Province), and together with other local aviators we admire the flight your father did across the atlantic, as well as the legendary Spitfire. We would love to have a scan of the logbook of the plane or the copy of any document pertaining that heroic flight, fell free to contact me via e-mail.

By Susan Maas nee Storey  |  2015-11-12 at 00:04  |  permalink

Hello Carlos.

I’ve just seen this and wonder if you are still in the Netherlands. If so whereabouts. I visit a couple of times per year as my late husband’s family are in Zeeland.

Best regards,
Susan

By Vernon Varty  |  2014-08-26 at 09:21  |  permalink

Greetings Susan. I can’t lay claim to any of the connections listed above.I’m just a 76-year-old Spitfire enthusiast, with an insatiable longing for Spitfire stories that have not already been done to death. Your dad must have been a remarkable man, and I’d love to know more about him. You are probably overwhelmed by requests from people, so if you can’t help me with a photograph or other background I will totally understand.
Warmest regards … Vernon … Cape Town, South Africa

By Ricardo Lezon  |  2012-01-12 at 01:14  |  permalink

After his supreme effort there was bad news were awaiting Storey, the goverment had cancelled the photo survey contract and there was no prospect to work for his Spitfire. Nevertheless PL972 on the argentine civil register as LV-NMZ on June 1st, 1947.

By Ricardo Lezon  |  2012-01-12 at 01:15  |  permalink

Unfortunately, after his supreme effort there was bad news were awaiting Storey, the goverment had cancelled the photo survey contract and there was no prospect to work for his Spitfire. Nevertheless PL972 on the argentine civil register as LV-NMZ on June 1st, 1947.

By Ricardo Lezon  |  2012-01-12 at 01:16  |  permalink

PL972 was registered to J.E.Storey as LV-NMZ on June 1st, 1947.

By Declan Curran  |  2012-05-26 at 14:20  |  permalink

Hi Susan,
I just found your post this morning. I knew your dad, worked with him the late 80’s in Brazil when he was with Verafumos. I would love to read the logbook of this flight, as would many of his old workmates in Brazil.

Reply to carlos planas