Spitfire FR Mk XIVE

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk XIVE      MV268    JEJ
127 Wing, 2nd TAF, Gp Capt 'Johnnie' Johnson, OC Soltau, May 1945.

The first production Supermarine Spitfire to be fitted with the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine - 35 litres to the Merlin's 27 - was the Spitfire Mk XII. Based on the Spitfire Mk V airframe, one hundred were built and equipped two squadrons, being used to intercept Fw 190 fighter bombers and VI "flying bombs". The definitive Griffon-powered fighter was the Spitfire Mk XIV, with the engine fitted to a Spitfire Mk VIII airframe, and was introduced to service in increasing numbers towards the end of the war; in particular it was employed by the Second Tactical Air Force as the conflict spread in to Germany itself. MV268 was built at by Supermarine at Eastleigh, joining the RAF on 4 January 1945 and being issued to 130 Squadron, from whom it must have been abstracted by the Wing Leader; it also served with Canadian squadrons 401 and 411. Although he scored no victories in this aircraft "Johnnie" Johnson was the highest-scoring RAF pilot at the end of the war, and as Wing Leader was entitled to mark "his" aircraft with his own initials rather than a unit code. The aircraft remained in Germany as part of the British Air Forces of Occupation, but made a forced landing at Celle in March 1946.

Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk XIVE piloted by Group Captain Johnnie Johnson. Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk XIVE piloted by Group Captain Johnnie Johnson. Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk XIVE piloted by Group Captain Johnnie Johnson.