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Pilots from No. 611 Squadron lend a hand in pushing Spitfire Mk. IX, BS451, FY-V. The (staged) photo has been taken during press day at Biggin Hill, 18th December 1942.
No. 611 Squadron was among the first to take the new Spitfire Mk. IX into combat, receiving their new aircraft in July 1942.
BS451 represents the early production Mk. IX standard, with Merlin 61 engine, C-type wing and large cannon blisters. This aircraft had a long and succesful operational career. It subsequently served with three Polish units, Nos. 315, 303 and 308 Squadrons in Northolt during 1943. In No. 303 it was flown by Sqn Ldr Jan “Kon” (Horse) Falkowski, carrying the markings RF-M.
Overhauled and transferred to No. 229 Squadron in 1944, the aircraft survived the war and was sold to SAAF in 1947. [Crown Copyright]