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Spitfire MJ730

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model: LFIX
factory: CBAF
engine: M66

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History:

33MU 12-12-43 222MU 24-12-43 City of Leeds 21-1-44 Casablanca 17-2-44 Middle East 30-11-44 MedAAF 31-5-45 to ItalianAF 27-6-46 as MM4094 ex Israeli Air Force No.66 Registered G-BLAS 1982 extant Sussex

* for acronyms please see Spitfire Production
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by: str4tm4n Some additional history 2018-07-26 11:22:05

The tradition of using a question mark to denote the squadron commander’s personal aircraft was established two years before Cyril West assumed command by Wing Commander George Sylvester DFC. Spitfires were transferred to 32 Squadron in Kolomaki, Greece, on October 9th 1944 and he chose MJ730 as his personal aircraft. He told his ground crew that there was a question mark over which letter they should paint on his aircraft since as the commanding officer he was neither a member of A flight nor B flight. For fun, they painted a temporary question mark (in whitewash apparently) in place of an identification letter. Sylvester enjoyed the joke, and from then until well into the fifties all subsequent COs used a question mark to denote their personal aircraft. The aircraft became known as “The CO’s Query”. The above information came to light in an article about George Sylvester's personal aircraft. When, after being assigned to another squadron in Yugoslavia, then sold to the Italian Air Force and then the Israeli Air force, it was eventually taken out of service and given to a kibbutz in Kabri. It was placed in a play park for children to play in and hopefully to encourage them to think about joining the Israeli Air Force. It was found there in a dilapidated state in the 1970s and was restored and passed through a number of owners before eventually being put up for sale for $3.4 Million. It is now owned and in full flying condition by The Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach
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