Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIVc RM740/3W-WI, No.322 (Dutch) Squadron, Deanland, August 1944AA38707
The aviation pedigree of the Supermarine Spitfire is second to none. Produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft, the Spitfire was in constant production throughout the Second World War, with the basic airframe capable of readily accepting upgrades and improvements which maintained the aircraft’s position as one of the most capable single engined fighting aeroplanes of WWII. The combination of the classic Spitfire airframe and the new powerful Rolls Royce Griffon engine produced a ‘Super Spitfire’ and what was regarded by many aviation historians as the finest low altitude interceptor available to Allied air forces during WWII. Having contributed to offensive operations in support of the D-Day landings, the speedy Spitfire Mk. XIVs of RAF No.322 Squadron were given a dangerous new task in the weeks which followed, intercepting the indiscriminate V1 ‘Doodlebug’ flying bombs which were hurled against Southern Britain from their launch sites in France, in the weeks following the successful Allied landings in Normandy. The squadron proved extremely proficient in these ‘Anti-diver’ sorties, with no fewer than 108.5 Doodlebugs falling to the guns of their mighty Griffon powered Spitfires, before advancing Allied ground units could overrun the launch sites, thus taking these terrifying weapons out of range of their intended target areas. Released from their Doodlebug duties, the Griffon Spitfires of No.322 squadron were sent to operate from recently liberated bases in Europe, as Allied air forces continued to take a heavy toll of German forces, both on the ground and in the air.