Y2-K Spitfire of F/Lt Arnold Roseland

Spitfire Site

Spitfire HF Mk. IX, serial no. TE294 (restored), painted as LF Mk. IX MK304 Y2-K of No. 442 Squadron RCAF flown by F/Lt Arnold ...

Spitfire HF Mk. IX, serial no. TE294 (restored),
painted as LF Mk. IX MK304 Y2-K of No. 442 Squadron RCAF flown by F/Lt Arnold Roseland,
June 6, 1944
Click to enlarge image

In 1999, the Comox Air Force Museum on the east side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, acquired the dissembled Spitfire Mk.IX with serial no. TE294. Currently under restoration to flying condition, this aircraft is intended to be finished in the paint scheme and markings of Y2-K, serial MK304 of No. 442 Squadron RCAF flown by F/Lt Arnold Roseland.

TE294 was built by Vickers Armstrong, at Castle Bromwich and on completion delivered to 39 Maintenance Unit at RAF Colerne on June 9th, 1945. Fitted with a Rolls Royce Merlin 70 engine, it was intended for service use as a high flying interceptor fighter, but never actually saw wartime service.

The original Y2-K, MK304, was also produced at Castle Bromwich, albeit as a Merlin 66-powered LF Mk. IXe. Delivered to 39MU in January 1944, it served briefly with No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron before being transferred to No. 442 Squadron RCAF on 7 February. There it was assigned as personal aircraft of ‘B’ flight commander F/Lt Arnold “Rosy” Roseland, receiving the letters Y2-K. Roseland flew this Spitfire on 65 combat sorties from March until July 1944. He gained fame by engaging and downing two Focke-Wulf Fw 190s in a single sortie over the Normandy beachheads, but died himself following a dogfight in the same area on July 13, 1944, his aircraft receiving Category E damage. The Spitfire was repaired by October and tested at White Waltham Aerodrome. Checked out for operational service at 19 MU before allocation to No. 331 Squadron where it suffered a flying Category E accident on 29 September. It was subsequently retired from RAF service.

MK304 differed in several respects from the depicted TE294 – most notably, it had a narrow-chord rudder and E-type wing with two 20 mm cannon and .5″ Browning machine guns.

The known photo of MK304 Y2-K shows the aircraft undergoing an engine change at St. Croix Sur Mer, France, in the weeks following the invasion. By that time the D-Day stripes had been reduced to lower surfaces of wings and fuselage. Our profiles show the aircraft with full complement of stripes as it looked on D-Day, and without them as it may have looked during spring 1944.
[John Bradley coll.]

Spitfire HF Mk. IX, serial no. TE294 (restored),
painted as LF Mk. IX MK304 Y2-K of No. 442 Squadron RCAF flown by F/Lt Arnold Roseland,
May, 1944
Click to enlarge image

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By ERIC VAILLANT  |  2011-01-10 at 14:01  |  permalink

J’ai beaucoup apprécié votre site, en effet je suis trés attaché au souvenir et à la mémoire de ce pilote que j’ai identifié et localisé par mes recherches en 1998. A cette époque j’étais gendarme en poste à Orbec et cela a permis au maire du village de St Martin de Mailloc d’ériger une petite stèle à sa mémoire en normandie.

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