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The Battle of Britain

Our aircraft joined 66 Squadron in October 1940 and was flown by several pilots, including Sergeant Jimmy Corbin and Pilot Officer ‘Dizzy’ Allen. However it became the regular aircraft of Flying Officer ‘Bobby’ Oxspring, who flew it on several occasions during the closing stages of the Battle of Britain. In his book ‘Spitfire Command’ he describes one particular battle during which we know he was flying P7540:

Just to remind us that all was not finished the Luftwaffe elected to stage a spectacular end of term party at Dover. On 14th November a large gaggle of JU87 Stukas were incomprehensibly resurrected to bomb the port facilities escorted by numerous 109’s. In company with 74 Squadron, we caught them on the approach and a savage battle was joined resulting in severe carnage among the Stukas.

As usual my flight got mixed up with the 109 escort without any definite claims, but this left the way clear for the rest to get stuck in. Dizzy Allen accounted for one Stuka, but the lions share went to 74 Squadron among whom Colin Mungo-Park, Steve H.M. Stephen and Bill Skinner devastated no less than seven between them. It was a fitting finale to 1940.

The aircraft was then transferred to 609 and 266 Squadrons, but as the MkIIa Spitfires were replaced by the improved MkV, it was relegated to a training role.

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