An evocative photo of a brand-new Spitfire LF Mk. VIII flying above the clouds. This example, serial number MD351, reportedly belonged to the Central Gunnery School at the time when the photo was taken.
MD351 is representative of a late-production Mk. VIII with pointed rudder, standard wing tips and a Merlin 66 engine with universal filter housing under the nose.
Otherwise, the operational record of this fighter is surprisingly sketchy. About the only fact apparent in the RAF records is that it was transferred to Australia in June 1944, subsequently being allocated the RAAF serial number A58-521. According to Australian sources, it served briefly with No. 452 Squadron RAAF. It was eventually “converted to components” on 13 November 1945.
[Paul Sibson coll.]