A long-serving Spitfire Mk. Vb

Spitfire Site

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb serial no. AA936. Probably an official photograph. Produced in October 1941, AA936 was one of the early series Mk. Vs ...

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb serial no. AA936. Probably an official photograph.

Produced in October 1941, AA936 was one of the early series
Mk. Vs coming from the Supermarine factory. According to the RAF records, it sported the Merlin 45M engine which according to the later standards would make it an LF Mk. Vb. However, this fact was not mentioned, indicative of the fact that the “LF” designation had not yet been used at the time.

The aircraft had an unusually long combat career serving with Nos. 161, 331 (Norwegian), 435, 222, 167 and 234 Squadrons between November 1941 and August 1944. On 2 October 1942 Norwegian ace Kapt. Rolf Arne Berg scored a probable victory over a Fw 190 flying this aircraft.

It is known that AA936 carried the letters FN-L in No. 331 Squadron and FU-B in No. 435. Its look may have evolved considerably during its career, including clipped wingtips (visible on the photo) and probably a change of propeller during the later period.

The aircraft was lost on 1 August 1944 as the engine cut forced the pilot to ditch off St.Catherines Point, Isle of Wight.
[SDASM Archives]

2 Comments

By John Engelsted  |  2013-04-25 at 05:50  |  permalink

The Photo shows AA937 from the AFDU.

By Antoni  |  2013-04-26 at 08:42  |  permalink

Only a about a dozen LF.Vs were built as such at the factory, the overwhelming majority were later conversions. As far as AA936 is concerned I have so far not found any mention of any of the squadrons it served with being equipped with LF.Vs. More investigation is needed into this and when AA936 received a Merlin 45M.

AA937 appears in 303 Squadron’s ORB on 21st June 1944 but there is no mention of 303 Squadon on the Form 78. Possibly the serial is an error but at that time 303 squadron were equipped with LF Vs.

P.794977. F/SGT. Pilot TALAR, J. during operational Flight when returned and landed at WESTHAMPNETT damaged his aircraft Spitfire VB No. AA.937. – Cat. “AC”, At about 00.05 hrs, when F/SGT. TALAR was landing, returning from Operational Flight touching the ground with the wheels of his aircraft, the starboard undercarriage led collapsed. The Pilot in order to avoid the impact against the runway he was trying to turn to the left. During this turn the whole of the undercarriage collapsed.

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