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Spitfires Up Close - Newly added Wide Images are Spectacular!

2021-01-12

Any user who visits the 'Spitfire' section of the site where all 22,000+ Spitfire serials can be accessed, will notice that if the page (Spitfire) has any images in it's listing, one will be selected and placed at the top of the page, in large format. Spectacular new detail emerges with this enhancement, as the horizontal nature of the Spitfire images lend themselves to wide full screen display.

See Spitfire LA323 as an example of the new page format. To view others, click 'Spitfires' on the top navigation of the site and select any you see a thumbnail for. It is exciting to see a Spitfire with crew around it in various theatres of operation. These are precious snapshots, some of these images being liberated from attics for the very first time, just like LA323 above.

So how do Spitfire images appear. Users make use of the WIKI feature on this site to source an image, and, upload it to the Spitfire page (by serial) in question after finding it's entry on allspitfirepilots.org. Users can also add a comment to the image (attribution/source) if required, and, other users can then comment on the image or aircraft details in general. ... read more ...

A call out to 601 Squadron enthusiasts for Pilot Pic

2020-12-31

A contributor to the site (nephew of P/O Brian Raises) reached out to us with a request to help him find a picture of his uncle, who was killed in 1942 near Tripoli and whose aircraft was never found. If any 601 squadron enthusiasts may have some photos and can identify Brian Raises, his nephew would be very pleased.

We've pressed our senior editor (Kevin Charles) whose interest is also North African and Italian campaigns of the air war, and Kevin indicates his "finger prints" are all over the internet, but no images seem to exist, at least on an initial search.

In P/O Raises nephew's (Braham Power) words ...

"I am the last of his living relatives as both his sisters ( one of whom was my mother ) have passed and there is no one else. Here is a bit of background;

Braham ( Brian ) Raises born 22/3/1921 Melbourne Victoria.

Pre war he studied law in London, however flying was his passion so he pursued that instead, joining the RAF when war broke out. He served with

54 Squ Feb 42
127 Squ July 42 Scoring a JU87 2/9/42
601 Squ KIA 10/12/42 flying out ... read more ...

Expanding the site through Partnerships

2020-08-08

Here at allspitfirepilots.org, we've built the world's largest and best collection of Spitfire pilot biographies going into extra-ordinary detail matching pilots to their squadrons (and other squadron pilots), the specific aircraft they flew, with the ability to ask questions, leave a comment, post a picture, or follow a particular pilot (get informed when others add information). Launched in 2015, there has now been 5 years of global contributions including heart-wrenching stories, humorous incidents, recollections from pilots and sons and daughters, legacies preserved.

As the creator (and software developer) of this site, it has been an absolute pleasure to create this very personal and historical site and make it database driven so that the collection of material grows. Being a global resource, submitters (often family members) have posted otherwise 'lost to the attics' material and imagery. They have been able to both add and seek out more information on pilots. Spitfire Pilots from the UK make up a significant number, but so do the Poles, Canadians, Americans, Czechs, Australian, Dutch, Norwegians, South Africans, Belgians, French and so on. Then there are the pilots from India (one in particular still alive and contributing to the site), Brazil, and even the Caribbean. On ... read more ...

Do you have a WWII aviation item you'd like to find a new home for?

2020-02-04

We have from time to time had enquiries from collectors, who come across aviation materials from WWII that may be of interest to this audience.

In this case, it's a pilot jacket, and we're happy to put the call out for other enthusiasts who may want to consider aquiring.

The family wants the jacket and log books to go to a good home. From David ...

" I have recently been asked to dispose of a WW2 Irvine on behalf of the family (friends of my wife’s).

AH McKee (21 Squadron) retired post war as a Squadron leader. He was a navigator in Mosquitos and flew 104 missions including on D-Day.

He was awarded the DFC and bar.

First operation was 12/10/41 and last operation was 26/4/45. He used this Irvine throughout the war and afterwards.

He flew 30 missions with Squadron Leader Henry Erskine, Joe Bodien DSO DFC an ace who shot down three aircraft in a Defiant and survived – not too many Defiant airman survived to tell the tale!.

Unfortunately the zipper is broken and it does exhibit use wear & tear (which is what you expect after 104 missions and general flying duties). There are two ... read more ...

Italian Campaign 75th Anniversary

2019-12-05

The WWII Allied Italian campaign is of significant interest to users (contributors) of this site, and, it appears, in the news as well as the 75th anniversary of the Italian Campaign is recognized this year. These recent news articles help paint a picture of life back then, as the pilots moved from North Africa to Italy for the push to Germany. Read the article about a Spitfire pilot in HE FLEW SPITFIRES OVER ITALY, SHE ENTERTAINED THE TROOPS, STILL MARRIED (2019).

The 75th Anniversary triggered us to list several pilots from different countries (pages on this site with full biographies you can click to) in this post who served in North Africa and Italy, so stay tuned, some of our expert contributors are writing up this short-list presently.

Squadrons

244 Wing: 92, 145, , 241, 417, 601, 1 SAAF

W/C Ronald E Bary RNZAF, Commander 244 wing (fair amount if you Google him as well - he also flew in the Battle of Britain)

Lt Hermann Kritzinger, SAAF, 1 SAAF

S/L David Goldberg, RCAF 417 Squadron
Every Stone Has A Story.

W/O Alan Charles, RAF, 601 Squadron (and ... read more ...

92 Squadron Being Detailed by Nephew of Roy Mottram!

2019-11-28

The famed 92 Squadron, for which there are now hundreds of pilots here on allspitfirepilots.org thanks to the nephew of F/L Roy Mottram, has seen continuous additions (pilots, serials, bios) on a weekly basis which will in turn allow other relatives to come along and add details.

That's how this site works, and Adrian has done a great service to the memory of these pilots. As a result of his additions, after having found the almost bare listing on this site (brief stats on a log book being held by IWM along with a name/rank), Ade Mottram (nephew) has not only filled in a brilliant tribute to his uncle, but dozens of other 92 / 54 Squadron pilots.

In a pattern we've seen before, one person takes on the task of researching dozens of squadron mates, and this seeds the database for others to find these 'stub' listings and fill in more, including perhaps their own story of how they came to find out so much.

Click for 92 and 54 squadron pilots, and, the page for F/L Roy Mottram.

So here is a summary of how it all unfolded, in ... read more ...

303 Squadron - Movie Review

2019-11-25

I had the pleasure of watching the movie "303 Squadron" as it premiered at the Ottawa (Canada) EUFF CFI Film festival Nov 25, 2019. The story of the Polish fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain (they flew Hurricanes) is well known and now better known. This film is a must see on the big screen.

Firstly, the film was introduced by the Polish Ambassador to Canada himself (his Excellency Andrzej Kurnicki), who payed tribute to the Polish airmen, their role in the Battle of Britain, and the connection to Canada this particular squadron had. It's Canadian Flight Commander "Johhny" Kent, went on to become an ace himself and survive the war as Wing Commander. Over 8,000 Polish pilots and ground crew escaped from France to England to assist the allies, but the 303 Polish Squadron is particularly famous for it's role in the Battle of Britain with it's high score (128) and skill in taking out the enemy at Britain's most crucial air battles in August and September of 1940. According to an IWM article, "A total of 145 experienced and battle-hardened Polish airmen fought ... read more ...

PRU Spitfires and Pilots!

2019-10-30

Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires - What are they and who flew them!?

editors note: This article was submitted by John Bendixsen, son of PRU pilot Flt. Lt. John Bendixsen, who kept detailed notes and an enormous catalog of aerial photos from his WWII missions, many of which have been passed along to me (sub pens, V1 rocket sites, dice missions, bridges, ships). PRU pilots often flew just off the deck on a dice mission, and in John's father's case, flew 100 feet off the deck in Germany to get a close up of a V1 rocket site (we're waiting for that elusive pic!). For any enthusiasts of PRU Spitfires, please read on -- and should you have a PRU Spitfire pilot to add, please click add pilot and we'll build the list. There are a few others on the site, see the squadron list below and I'll point out a few others on the site in time (check back). Of course, the entry for John S Blyth (US) on this site has a link to a now rather famous SUNDANCE film festival documentary with original footage showing Blyth on a dangerous crash land on returning from a PRU mission. ... read more ...

IWM Battle of Britain Airshow 2019 - All the Highlights!

2019-09-23

Editor's NOTE: Kevin Charles, Senior Editor for allspitfirepilots.org, was on hand to re-live some of his boyhood memories and re-connect with the Spitfire, the aircraft his father flew in WWII. He provided this summary of the IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow, one of the premiere aviation events of the year.

"As a boy of 10 I vividly remember an armada of planes, Spitfires, Hurricanes, Heinkels and Messerschmidts flying low over the school.

The sound was awesome.

No this wasn't the war (I'm not that old!), it was 1968 and the aircraft were on their way to film aerial sequences for the film The Battle of Britain.

Fast forward to the present day and your newly promoted Senior Editor for the allspitfirepilots.org website is at The Imperial War Museum at Duxford for the annual Battle of Britain airshow which was also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the the making of the film of the same name.

Duxford is a fantastic museum and working airfield, with a huge collection of airplanes and military vehicles and more than enough exhibitions to keep you occupied for at least a day. If you are in the area it is well worth a visit. read more ...

IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Weekend - Kevin is there!

2019-09-21

Our Senior Editor Kevin Charles is wandering around the IWM Duxford Battle of Britain show. After meeting up with Kevin at Capel Le Ferne on the cliffs of Dover for the September 15th Battle of Britain weekend, Kevin is now in Duxford for the big air show. If you go, try to find Kevin (email us with contact us we'll put you in touch, just buy him a tea and he's got a T-shirt for you from allspitfirepilots.org).

See more than a dozen Spitfires take to the sky at once, participate in a recreation of the now 50 year old Battle of Britain movie, walk the airfields, enjoy the show.

Walk through the same hangars and buildings as those who served at RAF Duxford. See aircraft take to the skies from the airfield that Spitfires first flew. And get up close to over a century of aviation with hundreds of aircraft and objects on display.

This is a very special year to be attending, and, stay tuned for Kevin's report but better yet, try to find Kevin and say hello. He may describe his particular interest, the North African and Italian air campaigns, where his father served and became a ... read more ...