Duxford Spitfire Day
Supermarine Spitfire three-ship formation at Duxford Spitfire Day 2009. Photo by Ross Cannon
The Duxford Spitfire Day held during the beginning of August brings together aircraft and veterans at the RAF's first Spitfire base. Duxford was home to the first operational Spitfire Squadron, No. 19 Squadron in 1938. Duxford's fighters were regularly scrambled against the Luftwaffe during The Battle of Britain. Duxford's aerodrome itself is a historic site dating back to 1918 when the Royal Air Force (RAF) was formed by amalgamating the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).
Duxford Spitfire Day - Sunday 9th August 2009
The Duxford Spitfire Day celebrated at the former RAF Station at Duxford has the distinction of being the home of the RAF's first Spitfires, No. 19 Squadron in 1938. Five Spitfires carried out various flypasts and displays, which included the three-ship formation consisting of The Aircraft Restoration Company's (ARC) two-seat Mk IX Spitfire IAC-161 formerly PV202, Historic Aircraft Collection's (HAC) Mk Vb Spitfire BM597 and The Old Flying Machine Company's Mk IX Spitfire MH434.
Richard Grace flying 'The Grace Spitfire' ML407 carried out a well coordinated display, which was a credit to him being one of the country's youngest and newest Spitfire pilots. Completing the afternoon's flying was a well polished display by one of The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Mk XIX Spitfire PS915.
Another attraction at Duxford in one of the World War II hangars was a World War II costumed character Spitfire pilot sitting by a replica Spitfire talking about the experiences of the airmen of World War II. If you visited the AirSpace hangar you might have had the privilege to meet two World War pilots by the silver Spitfire, being Wing Commander Neil MCallum Ret DFC, AFC and Air Commodore Peter Thorne Ret OBE, AFC, who were talking about their experiences during their flying careers.
Finally Squadron Leader Ian Blair Ret, DFM Ex-602 Squadron was giving talks on the operation of the Spitfire during World War II.
Images courtesy of Ross Cannon