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Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX – PT396, 611 Sqn, RAF, Jack Charles, RAF Biggin Hill, England, Biggin Hill’s 1000th Kill

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Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA31932: Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX PT396 of 611 Sqn, RAF, Jack Charles, RAF Biggin Hill, England, Biggin Hill’s 1000th Kill. Limited Edition of 1501 Pieces .

Length 5.25 inches Wingspan 6.25 inches

The Spitfire Mk.IX was a throughbred development of the classic Mitchell design and was a direct result of the need to combat the threat posed by the awesome Focke Wulf 190. The improved design helped to wrestle air superiorityback from the Luftwaffe. As the air war moved to the offensive for the RAF, successful fighter pilots became household names and were afforded celebrity status. In May 1943, the Biggin Hill Fighter Wing was close to their landmark 1000th victory, and an eager media descended on the Kent station in order to record the event. By this time, however, the Luftwaffe were reluctant to lose pilots unnecessarily and engagements were becoming quite rare, so the 1000th kill proved elusive. On May 15th, the Squadron Leader ‘Jack’ Charles of 611 Squadron led a fighter sweep over Caen, and on this day, the Luftwaffe did come up and fight. Charles was credited with two Fw190’s, and thus claimed the 1000th victory. In a famous photograph of the day, Charles is seen chalking a 1000 score on the propeller blade of his Spitfire Mk.IX, surrounded by his fellow pilots!

Designed by R.J.Michell to meet a British Air Ministry specification, the Supermarine Spitfire first flown on March 5th, 1936. With its combination of beautiful fighter design, the excellent performance of its Rolls-Royce Merlin powerplant and firepower provided by twin cannons and four machine guns, the Spitfire became an unrivaled symbol of victory. The Spitfire had 40 major variants and was built in greater numbers than any other British aircraft of the time. It flew operationally on every front between 1939 and 1945 and was engaged in every one of the Royal Air Force’s major actions.

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