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Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXC, UZ-Z of No. 306 (Polish) Squadron posing as a prop for press day in Northolt on 16 November 1942. The aircraft is equipped with 30 gal. slipper tank, which by that time was becoming a common attribute of Spitfire operations over the continent.
BS456 was usually flown by F/Lt Józef Żulikowski. Close examination of the photo reveals a round dot over the individual letter “Z” – this was no coincidence, but conformed with Polish spelling of Żulikowski’s name. It is known from other photographs from that day that the same letter was repreated in black on the aircraft’s lower nose under the spinner.
BS456 subsequently served with another Polish squadron, No. 316. On 22 August 1943, the unit flew a Ramrod mission over the Channel. In the vicinity of Rouen the Spitfire formation was attacked by a group of Fw 190s. Two Spitfires were lost, one of them being BS456 piloted by F/Lt Kurylowicz. Kurylowicz parachuted into the Channel and spent five days in his dinghy before being rescued by an RAF launch. [copyright unknown]