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Spitfire Mk. IIa, P7666, in the markings EB-Z of No. 41 Squadron. This was the personal aircraft of the unit’s Commanding Officer, Sqn/Ldr Donald Osborne Finlay (depicted also in this view). The photo was probably taken in December 1940.
The aircraft carries the inscription OBSERVER CORPS below the cockpit, indicating was one of the dozens, later hundreds, of funded Spitfires. To encourage national savings, a scheme was devised whereby individuals or organisations could “present” an aircraft by contributing an amount equivalent to the cost. In the case of a Spitfire, £5,000 was the asked amount. The founders, mostly organizations such as in this case, were acknowledged by a suitable inscription on the fuselage applied in the factory.
P7666 was a Spitfire Mk. IIa built under the 1st order for 1,000 Spitfire Mk. II at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory.
It left the factory on 15 November 1940, subsequently issued to No. 41 Squadron on 21 November. Flying this aircraft, Finlay shot down two Bf 109Es. The aircraft was subsequently passed to 54 Squadron where it was converted to a Mk. Vb on 22 February 1941, and was shot down by a Bf109 of JG51 on 20 April 1941. [Crown Copyright]