It has been confirmed today that the Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that is lined up to undertake a flypast at the Thunder Day event on Sunday 1st June is pehaps the ‘prize’ of the Flight’s collection. The aircraft is Spitfire MKIIa ‘P7350’ which is the oldest flying Spitfire in the world and the only Spitfire still flying to have taken part in the Battle of Britain.
It is understood to have been the 14th example of 11989 built at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, and entered service with the RAF in August 1940, with 266 Squadron at Wittering and Hornchurch at the height of that epic battle. It was one of 13 MKIIa’s later transferred to 603 City of Edinburgh AuxAF Squadron.
The aircraft was damaged in combat with a German ME Bf109 on 25th October 1940, suffering a hit by cannon fire Polish pilot, Ludwick Martel was wounded by shrapnel, but managed to bring the aircraft through cloud to make a rough landing, fighting pain and unconsciousness.
Back in service in 1941 after repair at the No. 1 Civilian Repair Unit at Cowley, run by Morris Motors, P7350 seved with 616 Squadron in occupied France as Fighter Command went on the offensive. It was withdrawn from operational service in April 1942.
The aircraft is currently being presented in the colours of Spitfire MK1a N3162 of 41 Squadron, as flown by top scoring Battle of Britain ace Eric Lock, who famously shot down 3 enemy aircraft in one sortie on 5th September 1940.
To have this aircraft, which is a remarkable survivor of the Battle of Britain allocated for our event is truly wonderful and we anticipate a good crowd turning out to see it.
* Information courtesy of the BBMF website. Why not join the BBMF Club?