Spitfire Mk.Vc trop, JK815, No. 2 Squadron SAAF, Gioia del Colle, Italy, October 1943
South African No 2. Squadron SAAF took delivery of its first Spitfires Mk.Vc in July 1943. As the unit was tasked with the supporting the Allied landings in Sicily, it was one of the few squadrons to use the heaviest possible armament on its Spitfires, which
consisted of four 20mm cannons. This firepower was extremely effective in attacking enemy ground vehicles. The South African
Spitfires carried an additional 250lb or 500lb bomb on the fuselage rack for combat operations. A specific color feature of the No. 2
Squadron SAAF Spitfires was the overlay of the lower camouflage Azure Blue color on top of the leading edge of the wing and the
red wingtips as well as horizontal stabilizer tips. The rudder is decorated with the unit's crest, an antelope on a red background.
Spitfire Mk.Vc trop, JK879, F/O A. F. Osborne, No. 249 Squadron, Qrendi, Malta, May-June 1943
F/O Osborne scored his only kill on April 28, 1943 when, during an early morning sweep, him and Squadron Leader J. J. Lynch
spotted two low-flying Ju 52/3m Junkers transport aircraft off the coast of Sicily. Lynch attacked and shot down one of them,
thus securing his place in the historical archives as the author of the 1,000th kill in the Malta defense operations. Lynch rejoined
Osborn after his victory and together they shot down a second Ju 52/3m which crashed into the sea. Osborne was later successful
in fighting V-1 flying bombs. He shot down six of them flying a Mustang Mk.III with No. 129 Squadron during summer of 1944. The
Spitfires delivered to Malta sported several different types of camouflage. One of them was this scheme, with the upper and side
surfaces sprayed in Dark Mediterranean Blue, while the lower surfaces were Azure Blue. The red cone indicated aircraft operating
in Mediterranean theatre.
INFO Eduard - FEBRUARY 2022