Finucane's Spitfire Vb

Gary Eason

Colchester, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb number AB852 as flown by the Irish RAF ace, Brendan ‘Paddy’ Finucane as UD-W with 452 Squadron, in the autumn of 1941. In accordance with the change from dark earth/dark green camouflage to dark green/sea grey, it was repainted but with a highly unusual reversed pattern – green over grey and grey over brown. Research suggests the serial number was mostly or entirely painted over. The sky fuselage band was slanted. The fighter bore Finucane’s personal shamrock insignia on the side of the cockpit. It was lost to enemy action while being flown by another pilot.

In June 1942 Finucane, DFC + two bars, DSO, became the youngest Wing Commander in the RAF, leading the Hornchurch Wing. But within weeks he had to ditch in the Channel after being hit by ground fire, and was still in his Spitfire when it sank. He was 21.

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