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Old 5th January 2011, 21:33
Spiteful Spiteful is offline
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Spitfire BL907


I was wondering if anyone could provide any further pictures or information of Spitfire BL907, or provide confirmation of any of the squadron codes it wore? I'm looking for any information on this particular plane as we believe it crashed into my father in laws house in Feb 1945 (the event in the record above), which is at the end of the Cosford run way. When they were rebuild the house, they dug up a few parts of the aircraft, such as the wing navigation lights.
I have previously asked on the Key publishing forum, but thought there may be people here that could also help. The info I have found out so far is:

LFLRVb 33MU 7-2-42 Starveall Farm dispersal 27-2-42 222S 14-4-42 CB ops ros ASTH 610S 29-1-43 350S 27-3-43 133S 17-2-44 132S 7-3-44 504S 15-3-44 landed on top of AD577 Hawarden CAC 10-9-44 AST 23-9-44 FACE 27-2-45 SOC 15-3-45 (copied from

From Key publishing response:
Cat. B damage in 222 Sqn was on 19 June 1942, when it was damaged in combat with Fw 190s off Belgain coast, Sgt R. Hoare escaping unhurt. It was repaired by Westlands and went to 38 MU on 10 August, but was damaged cat. B in an accident on 26 August. This time repaired by the AST Hamble, it went to 610 Sqn as in your listing.
In 350 Sqn it was damaged cat. AC on 8 July. Repaired on site it resumed service with No. 350. In late September 1943 it went to 3501 Servicing Unit, presumably for conversion to LF.V.
The "133 Sqn" entry is doubtful: I don't think there was a 133 Sqn in the RAF at the time. This might be a misspelling for 132 Sqn.
After the accident in September 1944, the damage category seems to have been changed to 'B' at the AST on the 23th. Following repair it was allocated to 9 MU on 22 January 1945. I found reference to the landing collision taking place on 17 February 1945, not the 27th.

The ORB:

28th February 1945; “Court of Inquiry assembled on 20th February 1945 to investigate, report and fix responsibility for flying accident on 17th February 1945 to Spitfire BL907. President F/Lt Fleet, 48 MU and member F/Lt Smith 9 MU.”

From Gifts of War book:

Spitfire BL907 was a presentation Spitfire named Spirit of Natal. It was presented through the governor general’s fund and South African Mayor’s fund, the total raised being £26,1949 of which £202,000 was donated by Natal. According to the book it was delivered to 9 MU on 4th October 1944, but on 17th February 1945 crashed while on a test at Donington, near Albrighton. Photo in IWM.

I have obtained the picture of the Spirit of Natal from the IWM, but have noticed something that has got me wondering. The picture appears to show that the canopy is a PR type, with the additional bulges on the side - Please note - copyright of phote belongs to IWM:

The picture shows a gunsight, and external bulletproof windscreen also.

Could anyone provide any further information to help? Could BL907 not be the Spirit of Natal?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks,


Last edited by Spiteful; 5th January 2011 at 21:34. Reason: correction
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Old 5th January 2011, 23:25
Larry Larry is offline
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Re: Spitfire BL907

Air Britains book Royal Air Force Aircraft BA100 to BZ999 says that this aircraft was with 133 Sqn and I agree that this unit had disbanded / transferred to the USAAF in Sept 1942, so could not have been with that Sqn in 1944.

However, in searching other aircraft record cards I have noted that where perhaps a clerk makes a mistake, it isn't crossed out and instead the aircraft card as if by magic shows and entry for the correct Squadron a few days later. This is the case with the Hurricane in the Science Museum, which shows it going to 152 Sqn for one day.

Sadly some of these human errors are taken as gospel
Larry Hayward
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Old 8th January 2011, 00:22
Spiteful Spiteful is offline
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Re: Spitfire BL907

Thanks Larry.

Looking at the Gifts of War entry it states it went to 9MU on the 4 Oct 44, but is this likely, as it would have been a quick repair of a fairly damaged aircraft if so? Also, the first letter in the picture appears to be a U, but none of the squadron's BL907 flew with used this letter in their codes?

I am suspicious that BL907 may not be the Spirit of Natal - is anyone able to confirm either way?

Thanks again.
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Old 8th January 2011, 10:38
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Fairlop Fairlop is offline
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Re: Spitfire BL907

Hi Sean,

The PR type canopy on fighter version was uncommon but not impossible. The 19 Sqn "often" used it in 1941-42 for example.
Letter code on the IWM Spitfire photo is "U...". However no code for the squadrons mentioned in BL907 history begin like that. It could be UM code for the 152 Sqn.

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