Spitfire IA P9374 - Shoreham - 2012

Colin  Williams Photography

Wakefield, United Kingdom

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CanonEOS 1000D 70-300mm Zoom Lens.

We welcomed a very special Spitfire to Shoreham this year, Spitfire Ia P9374. This aircraft was delivered to the Royal Air Force on 2nd March 1940. It went through No 9 Maintenance Unit before being delivered to 92 Sqaudron based at RAF Duxford in Cambridgeshire. The aircraft became the personal aircraft of Flying Officer Peter Cazenove though it was flown by several pilots.
92 Squadron moved to Croydon in May 1940 and it was not long before the squadron was involved in combat. The 20th May saw the aircraft flown by Pilot Officer Desmond Williams who claimed the first kills in the airframe – one Messersmitt Bf110 destroyed and two further ‘probables.’ On the 24th May Peter Cazenove in P9374 and the rest of 92 Squadron were scramble to patrol between Dunkirk and Calais. In was on this patrol that the squadron became involved in combat with Dornier 17 aircraft. It was during this combat that P9374 was damaged and it’s engine failed. Cazenove was unable to glide back to the safety of the UK and force landed the Spitfire on the beaches south of Dunkirk from where he was taken Prisoner of War.

In 1980 P9374 was found washed up in the sandy beach near Calais. On 13th October 2000, Thomas Kaplan and Simon Marsh purchased P9374 from a French aircraft enthusiast and, with the dedicated team at Aircraft Restoration Company in Duxford, England, began the long process of painstakingly restoring the plane to its original condition and airworthy. Today it is just one of three Spitfires that saw service during the Battle of Britain to be airworthy – the others being the Battle of Britain’s Spitfire IIa and the Freidkin Collections’s Spitfire Ia which has just flown at Biggin Hill following restoration by Peter Monk.

P9374 made her first public appearance at Duxford September Airshow last year and her flying display debut at the Goodwood Revival later in the month.

Artwork Comments

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