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.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX ML407 as flown on D-Day 1944. Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX ML407 as flown on D-Day 1944. Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX ML407 as flown on D-Day 1944.