Spitfire Mk IXC
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXC ML407 OU-V
No 485(NZ) Squadron, Flying Officer Johnnie Houlton, Selsey, June 1944.
The Spitfire Mk IX in all its variants was one of the last of the Merlin
engined Spitfires to be produced in large numbers, a total of 5,665 Spitfire
Mk IXs being produced. Its success lay in its improved two-stage, two- speed
supercharger coupled to the Merlin engine. Finally the RAF had a fighter
to match the Fw190
which had for so long been outperforming allied fighters.
Perhaps one of the most well known Spitfire Mk IX's, ML407 is famous
for having been the first aircraft to shoot down an enemy aircraft on
D-Day 6th of June 1944 when Flying Officer Johnnie Houlton of 485 (New
Zealand) Squadron downed a Ju88 over the Normandy beaches.
ML407 would complete 176 operational sorties and 200 combat flying hours.
After being heavily damaged and repaired, ML407 was passed from squadron
to squadron before being returned to England for decommissioning. Having
been stored for five years after the war ML407 was sold to Vickers-Armstrong
and converted into a two seat trainer, and was used by the Irish Army
Air Corps at Baldonnel, near Dublin, where she was retired.
In 1960 and used as an instructional airframe. In 1968 ML407 was sold
to Samuelson Films and then two years later to Sir William Roberts before
finally being purchased by Nick Grace and undergoing an extensive restoration
to flying condition and registered as G-LFIX.
Today ML407 is owned and operated by Carolyn Grace at Duxford in Cambridgeshire
and may regularly be seen giving air displays.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 6.25" (156 mm)
Base size 6.37" (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 6.75 ozs (190 grams)