Spitfire PR Mk XIX

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX     PS934    WY-R
541 Squadron, RAF Benson, 1950.

The last mark of Supermarine Spitfire in front-line service, the PR. 19 (originally PR.XIX) was withdrawn from 81 Squadron in Malaya in 1955. The XIX combined the fuselage of the Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered Mk.XIV with the wings of the PR.XI and a pressure cabin, resulting in the ability to operate at over 40,000 feet, above virtually all opposition at the end of the war. PS934 was built by Supermarine at Southampton/Eastleigh and joined Coastal Command at Leuchars in May 1945. It joined 541 Squadron at Benson, the station which had become the UK centre for PR, in November 1949 but was sold for scrap in July 1954. It wears the high-level PR colour scheme of medium sea grey/PRU blue with the post-war roundels and fin flash, white codes and on the fin the squadron badge of a bird's eye speedwell which, with the motto "Alone above all", neatly captured the squadron's function. Carrying two downward facing and one oblique looking cameras the PR Spitfires provided vital information for many strategic decisions of WWII. Two hundred and twenty five examples of the Spitfire PR MK XIX saw service in the European Theatre during WWII and many continued to be used long after the war. Today three examples; PM 631, PS915, and PS853 survive with the
RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX of 541 Squadron. Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX of 541 Squadron. Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX of 541 Squadron.