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Aircam Aviation Series 8 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.xii-24 Supermarine Seafire Mk.i-47

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Aircam Aviation Series 8 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.xii-24 Supermarine Seafire Mk.i-47

Text of Aircam Aviation Series 8 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.xii-24 Supermarine Seafire Mk.i-47

  • FII.lUVE. NO Squ..t.on. till .. , ' ''dio" AI, Foree. B mo III".,,, wl.h "o"d 11 SEliC ' .... IOd .... pol. bl ... / " .. k bluo.

    , f ,ll. No. _'CI,y ollo"d .. " ' Squad, .. " , II OYO' Ausm.", A'. F .. ,oa.

    , F.n. NO.1 huo",,,,,, ~ov.1 Ahod ...... AI. F ... e.. 8 . ...... t., fin"" . .... , .. " , ,1>, ... '0,,"


    Illustrated by Richard Ward

    Compiled by Ted Hooton and Richard Ward

    Text by Ted Hooton

    -24 -47

    ACI(NOWLEOGMENTS Grateful thanks ale extended 10 all who assisted with photographs and information making possible Ihe pUblication of this plclorial survey of the Griffon engined SpilfirB and brief coverage of the Merlin and Griffon engined Seaflre. Thanks to alilhose who assisted whose names are li sted below In alphabetical order

    l. Bachelor, F. Sa/atelli, Canadien Dept. National Defence, EtabHsse mel'll CinematographiquB des Armees. Flight In ternational. F. G. Freeman Jr.. M, Garbett, J. Harvey. H. Holmes, T. HOOlon. Irish An Corps. Imperial War Museum. R. C. Jones JPMS. SwedISh Air Force, G. J . Thomas.

    F. IUV. No. 132. 'Clty of Bombav' Squadron. SEAC. Ma'aya, 1945. S tandard Green /G.ev acheme but wi t hout white wing band

    Published by: Osprey Publications Limited, England Editorial Office: P.O. Box 5. Canterbury. Kent. England

    SubSCription & Business Office: P.O. Box 25. 707 Oxford Road. Reading, Berk.shire, England First PUblished 1969

    Not IOf Hie In U.SA Second Impression 1971 SBN 8~45 008 X

  • ood cle~' $hOI $hew'ng Ihe changed neSe Ionel of ltl. !"Il G"Uon cng,ned va".nl. lhe Mk.XII (IWM)


    In 1939 the Suprrmarine design team under J. Smith began ..... ork on the: Spitfi re Mk. IV around the projected

    RoU$-RO~'ce Type 37 ~ngine, later known as the Griffon. The early war years delayed both airframe and engine, but in 194 1 t ..... o protol~'pes ..... ere ordered, and by 1942, when they took 10 the air, they had been re-designated as the Spitfire Mk. XX(DPS45) and Mk. XXJ{DPS51).

    From these beginnings, and through subsequent de\'el-opme:nt of the Mk. VIII airframe, came a \'lIriety of Griffon-Spitfi res. The Mk. 21-24 series "'liS almosl a new type of ain;:raft, having a completely new wing designj the Mk. X II , XIV, and XIX being interim de\'elopmentsj while the Mk. XVIII was a later version of the XIV with different wing conSlruction.

    Large-~o.le production began in 1944 and JUS t over two thousand were built up to 1948 (nearh' hall were Mk. X IVs). They wcre never emplO)'ed in combat [0 the extent of the Merlin-Spitfires but, nevertheless, saw service with si~ ty squadrons of the RA.F. and R Aux.A.F. between 1943 and 1954. Peak operational ~trength was in 1945 when some twenty squadrons were ,equipped. T hey were: also used by the ai r forces of ten foreign countries, and nOI until 1957 did the bst Griffon-Spitfire retire from useful flying duties.

    Compared with thdr hlcrlin counterparts they were quite a different aircraft in many ways, partially due 10 the: opposite engine rotation of the Griffon and aero-d~'namic design changes. BUI, although the)" lost the " sweetness" of the original Spitfires, they st ill remained a favourite with their pilots.

    Wart ime Service 1943 to 1945 This period saw the operational use of the Spitfire Mk.

    XII, XIV, XIX, and 21. The Mk. XII was a 1942 .. panic" conversion of the

    basic Mk. VII I/IX airframe with a lo ..... -altitude rated Grillon and clipped wings, and was based on experience derived from the Spitfire Mk. XX prototype. It "'liS

    . ordered to counter the menace of the Luftwaffe's Fwl90 .. tip and-run " raids on the south coaSt of England and, built in small numbers. first entered sen'ice with 41

    squadron in January 1943, followed b}' 9 1 squadron in April. Low-altitude patrols and, later, o!fensi\'e sweeps were the speciality of the tWO squadrons, but during 1943 de\'e!opment of the Mk. XIV proceeded apace. This \'3.riant \\'3.S intended for allahitude fighting, being fimd with a two-stage supercharged Griffon. Initially produced with the .. C" wing, it firSI went into ~ervice with 350 (Belgian) and 610 squadrons in January 1944, followed by 91 and 322 a few months later.

    Intended for the ddence of the D-day beachheads, the Spitfire XI V was diverted from that role to join the Tempest and MUSlang in defending London against the German VI fl ying bomb offensl\'e which began in mid-June. Thus it was that 91, .322, and 610, together with 41 squadron (Mk. XII), shot down more than three hun-drt'

  • Fo.m.IIOf'1 01 Mk. XI!"S by No. 41 SQllad.on . n Ihe IIPP" PtlOIOlI'.ph 1M !a'lIe. Sj>Inn", IS ""'" Oil"'O\II. H ., MB794. 0 M88!>8. (pholos IWM).

  • Tne h rl l Sp,tf". Mk. XII. EN22 1. l he IIIImgl we,e nOl clopped on rllli . " cf.ll so lnl l compa'at,ve tesu could be ,un I111l1n EN222 IIIIn'c h did n.v. clopped lIII,ng l . Both .IIc 'alt lIIIe'. IIOlllln bV FlU!. 'S pud' Po tock, altha InltnJlve FI",ng Develo pmenl Uni t. BOlcombe DOlllln. Decem ber 1942.

    rc-equipped wllh the new Spitfire F.21, but only a few bomber escon sonies were flown before the end of hostilities.

    As the War in Europe ended, many F/FR.XIVE air-croft were scm to the Far EaSt, and in Burma 20, 132, and 273 squadrOn! were amongst the firs t units 10 re-equip, carly in 1945. With me ]apam.$C Army Air Force already reduced to 9n ineffecth'e 1evc:J, ground attack sorties were the order of the day, except for 681 squadron which received a few PRXIX (la ter production models with a pressuriscd cockpi t) as the War end~'(f in August.

    Post war 1946 to 1954

    In Europe, the regular R.A.F. squadrons with Griffon_ Spitfires were soon disbanded or re-equipped with other types. NOlable exceptions were 1 squadron in Germany which .oper:lIcd both the FR.14Ee and PR.19 unlil 1951, as did 541 squadron wilh the PRI9 in England, both upits performing manr useful photo surveys during that lime.

    However, Ihe R.Aux.A.F. employed the Griffon-Spitfire in some numbers between 1946 and 1951. A few squadrons having the FR.14E as ini tial equipment


  • AbOve M~ . XIV's 01 No. 010 'COUn1~ of Chclt~. SQuad, on. Ul"nG 1944 OW_ D. RB1~9 II th" CO's au,.all nc le lW"nant u"lleo w,ndse.cen

    R'Ght & heiOw Sl3rboa'd i,d~ ~"'ws 01 OW_D. I~v 5P'"'' '' tOO;! ~ nd tumaGo st"lW. (phQloslWMt


  • 6

  • Above. F.xIVE. RM 704 of the Cenual F'yhte, tslal)l,Shmcnt. WeSl Ravnllam, 1946 B01h 3"erall wah black and whn~ SP inners. sky COOC5 and luselagc bands (Vta L BachelOf)


    Below FR,X IVE. TlI 3B. '" Canida lOt cold weath" leSMII at Edmomon, 1945---46 (f. H~r !~II, ) ------------~----

  • Above FAXIVE. o f No.2 Squad,on. 2nd TAF G ... many 1945-46. (f. Henl~y VIa R. C. Jonel)

    Above FAXIVE. TZ112 ul No.2 Squadton 2M TAF. 1948. Code Ol-G NaluI31 melal t.nlsl, blitCl Wnd on $1)0'"'''' Bclow FAXIVEs and PA 19 S 01 NG 2 Squld,on. 2nd I AF al, GQ lmnJlv. 19~a-49 (HI"hl Inte,nnfoOnal)


  • F.XIV 01 No 41 Scwad.on. No 12" w'lIg. 2"" TAF. Germ~ny S .. "al RM653. (v'3 R C Jones) .

    F.XIV. No 402 RCAF Squtdron. no.e sky tusel~ .. bind hils lI"n p;llnllXi OVIII. SG".I RN119. (IWM )

    ADove & below f .XIV"I. No 130 PUnl.t' Squadron on a Belg,an arr held. Dec. 1944. In"Ulon SlllDU under lhe I\lselage only. (photos IWM )"

  • R'!l hl F XIV No \ 7 SQuadfOlI. S ele t ~', Singapore 1945. YB-O. RN972. 11010 Sg&1 _" whIte unde' fin flutL (0. II( Healey .,~ G. J.


    Below FAXlVE No ?8 SQui>d.on. Kaula Lamp,,! Malav.. 1946.

    (G J Thomas).



    I eU Close UP 01 ~ (ltt~" of YB-O. O. II( fica/IV W,I" groul'! aU HMS "umpj!l~ boun

  • L .... up 01 No 2B SQ(ln F )UVE. al ~"ala LamP'll'. 1946 Il. NIlBS!I. 1. SM8!13 Gllffin/ealth c,moutl'OI (G J. ThOmiS)

  • --

    AbOve F.XI V. No. 152 Squadlon on 5C1e p ya.d. Sel! ColOlli ,lIustratrr;lO.

    leh CISI!uP 01 No. I ~2 SlIuadl(Ul,,a (W Power).

    Below FllxIVIO. No. 273 SQuadron. MallVI (IWM).

    BelOW F XIV ,. N" 132 C"y " I Bombay SQllld,on. lie ClltoU ' rllustratlon. (IW M)

  • RIghi F.XIVs laing l~~en ashore al Hong Kong. \ 945. Good shol showIng e~moul l ~go oa110 ,n. po&rlron and s.zo 01 na~onal ,nlrgni . (lWM).

    Below Nose del 1 01 No. 132 Squadron emaiL (VIa lI. C. Jonel) .


    Below. FA.XVIII. No. 32 SQuad,on. TZ220. MIdd le EDi 1.

    (J . Old VIa A. C. Jones).

  • -,

    Above FR XVIII. No 32 Squadrcf'l on tile M,ddle East note the hunung horll "'"gn., unci" l;ockpl1. As Seell On Ih,s Jnd pr'CWlno phO\ ,\ wlS common Pllcuee 10 femove rhe obllllu. cam"r. on FR type lIIelll1. In, port being cavera.:! WIlli iab"e. TP373

    Rrgh\ One 01 tllO TP23'" 's lIIen here I probably WIlli No ~:~~i~:i:~"~;, ,

    Abovtt On" of tile PR.XIX's fro'" the ,,,'\ O'OOUl;lIon balch WIthout'''flUlIan. RM64'" 1$ Men here ""Ih No. 682 Soul

  • AI>
  • Fa'mal'a" al F.21$ al Na. 600 C"v al Landan Squad'an. R.Au .A.F .. RAO-J LA328. (phQla$ Fhghl1nll.nallanll).


  • . F.l 1s of NO. 600 Clty of london Sq .... ad!on. R Auo .A. F .. 5tand~ld camo .... flallo and yeilcw wlnllieacMg eJlle stllile. (pl'010S FII,.tll Inlc103110nal)

  • n

  • A/.Io.o Untie. su,face oela.1 01 f.21 LA195 el Ne 600 SCII/


    R'Qln F.n of No 607 'Count~ ot DUlham' SQuad.en fl Au. A F, ,n .~em".~,ng5 (RAF/MOO)

    AGolis F.n', ot No, 613 'E.S! L~nC3sh,," SQI/ad.on, R.Au~ A f" nete SQuan.on ~,psi above tm tl DSh RAT-E PK331


    R,ghl One ot the tow

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