The Spitfire Forums

Historic Aviation => Spitfire => Topic started by: Andrew Hack on January 15, 2011, 11:58:20 PM

Title: X4913
Post by: Andrew Hack on January 15, 2011, 11:58:20 PM
 My first post and a bit of a long story...

...but stick with it, please!

In 1972 I won a book token as a school prize and, being plane mad as most 12 year olds were in those days, I bought Kenneth Munson's 'Aircraft of the Second World War'.

I've always loved early Spits and in the book is a picture that has always interested me...a Mark 1A, serial X4913.

I had always assumed, since she isn't carrying squadron codes and appears brand new, that she wasn't genuine...perhaps a replica. Who would know? Except the not quite big enough to be legible name badge just beneath the windshield was baffling!

Well now, almost 40 years later I've rediscovered model aircraft kits...and I want to do a Spit Mk1. In fact I have one ready to go...

...and this being the age of the internet, I typed in her serial  number and there she is!!

'Flying Scotsman', one of 3 donated by the LNER (which accounts for the name badge). A genuine Mk1A from 53 OTU, lost when she flew into a mountain in Wales and not found for 9 months thereafter (a record, if an unpleasant one, I believe).

And now I want to know more!

Was she ever assigned to an operational squadron? Which one? Where? What codes did she carry (I know 53 OTU wore MV)? And who was flying her (and presumably lost his/her life) when she met a sad end on a Welsh mountain.

Any information will be greatly received...

...and images would be an absolute bonus!!



Title: Re: X4913
Post by: Edgar Brooks on January 16, 2011, 09:53:50 AM
The book, for this kind of research, is Air-Britain's "Gifts of War," by Henry Boot & Ray Sturtivant. 3rd January, 1941, she went to 9M.U., Cosford, then 411 Squadron on 22-6-41.  After a month (411 began to receive the IIa in July,) she went to 53 OTU, at Llandow, and F/Sgt. Colnorne Gardner R68668 RCAF died in her, when she flew into the N.E. face of Pen-y-Fan mountain, in the Brecon Beacons.  He's buried in Hereford cemetary.  In common with many Squadrons, the 411 ORB doesn't seem to have listed code letters, just serials.
 The "Flying Scotsman" name was re-assigned to Vb BM202, which is thought to have survived the war.

Title: Re: X4913
Post by: Andrew Hack on January 16, 2011, 11:15:44 PM

many thanks, that's really useful...if not a little sad. But then it was always going to be.

My challenge now is to pin down codes for this aircraft (assuming she carried them).


Title: Re: X4913
Post by: Jaybee on January 19, 2011, 11:45:42 PM
I haven't found anything on X4913's individual letters, but with 411 she would have carried squadron code DB ( no connection with a certain wing leader! ). I've  also found that 53 OTU also used KU from Feb. 1941, OTU's often had a larger establishment than a normal squadron, and could otherwise run out of individual letter/code combinations.