Spitfire Mk. V: The Norwegians

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Norwegians formed two fighter squadrons with the RAF. No. 331 Squadron was formed at Catterick in Yorkshire in July 1941. At first it was ...

Norwegians formed two fighter squadrons with the RAF. No. 331 Squadron was formed at Catterick in Yorkshire in July 1941. At first it was equipped with rather worn Hawker Hurricane Mk. Is, becoming operational on 15 September. It provided defence for Northern Scotland, moving to Castletown and Skeabrae. Having re-equipped with Spitfires in November 1941, it returned to North Weald in May 1942 to join with the recently formed No. 332 Squadron, also manned by Norwegians. Both units became part of the North Weald Wing.


Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb
No. 331 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF
Pilot Lt. Rolf Arne Berg
Manston, 1942
Click to enlarge image

No. 331 Squadron was assigned the code letters FN; legend has it that it “FN” was an abbreviation for “First Norwegian” or “For Norway”. This Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb, BM579, FN-B displays markings from the unit’s time in Manston, 1942. This aircraft was normally flown by Lt. Rolf Arne Berg (which later became known for the unusual markings carried on his Spitfire Mk. IX). Camouflage scheme is Dark Green and ”mixed grey” (apparently correctly mixed) on the upper surfaces and Medium Sea Grey undersides. Soft demarcation lines.

The white stripes were applied on 4 July 1942 for ”Operation Rutter”, a planned preparatory invasion operation/exercise towards Dieppe but which was subsequently cancelled (the actual ”repeated” Dieppe raid on 19 August, ”Operation Jubilee” had no distinctive markings applied to the aircraft).

Rotol wooden propeller with pointed spinner. This aircraft was fitted with wheel hub covers.


Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb
No. 332 (Norwegian) Squadron RAF
Pilot Sgt. Alf Widerberg
Catterick, 1942
Click to enlarge image

AB184, AH-M ”Joe II” was another Spitfire Mk.Vb, this time belonging  to No. 332 (Norwegian) Sqn. in Catterick, 1942. This aircraft was flown flown by Sgt. Alf Widerberg. The camouflage colours are Dark Green and a slightly light ”mixed grey” on the upper sides with Medium Sea Grey undersides. The demarcation lines between colour fields were “hard”. The panel below the windshield has been repainted in a lighter shade of green, possibly Dark Slate Grey (which actually is a green colour despite the name), to cover the aircraft’s previous name ”Litago II”. The aircraft sported a de Havilland metal propeller.

Note to modellers

Decals for the presented markings, plus additional aircraft of Norwegian fighter units with the RAF, are available in 1/72 and 1/48 scales from Vingtor Decals and can be purchased directly through the manufacturer’s website: www.vingtor.net

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By ian paternoster  |  2010-10-25 at 20:09  |  permalink

The Spitfire pictured above AH-M 332 Norwegian squadron was based at North Weald and flown by Sergent Olav Djonne. Flight Mechanic (airframe) Alf R Bjercke. On the 19th August 1942 he shot down a Dornier Do 217 during his second sortie towards Dieppe with this aircraft. Do you aggree

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