KITS 02/2022

Spitfire Mk.Vc trop, A58-180 (JG912), No. 79 Squadron RAAF, Kiriwina, Trobriand Islands, October 1943

Australian No. 79 Squadron RAAF was formed at Laverton Base, Victoria, on April 26, 1943, and its role was to provide high-altitude

cover for the Kittyhawks of Australian forces during the New Guinea campaign. The unit received Spitfires Mk.Vc in priority and in

mid-May 1943 began moving to Goodenough Island, from where it undertook flights to New Guinea. This was followed by a move to

Kiriwina Island, at that time the nearest Allied base from the Japanese-occupied important port on the island of New Britain. From

Kiriwina, Spitfires operated over New Britain until March 1944, when No. 79 Squadron moved to Los Negros, one of the Admiralty

Islands. Spitfire Mk.Vc serial JG912 arrived in Australia on April 13, 1943, and was assigned to No. 79 Squadron on May 7. The white

tail surfaces were sign of aircraft operating in the New Guinea area.

A58-250 (MH586), No. 85 Squadron RAAF, Pearce, Australia, May 1945

Australia's No. 85 Squadron RAAF, originally armed with home-built Boomerangs, began rearmament to Spitfires in September

1944. Unlike other RAAF units that received Mk.VIII Spitfires, No. 85 Squadron was rearmed with Mk.Vc Spitfires. A move to RAAF

Base Pearce in Western Australia followed on May 11, where the unit remained until its disbandment on November 29, 1945. The

Spitfire Mk.Vc marked A58-250, operated with No. 457 Sqn RAAF from February 4, 1944 before transferring to No. 85 Squadron

RAAF. It was used there as personal mount by B Flight Commander F/Lt Alf Glendining. For the last time the A58-250 was flown

by W/O Gray on May 23, 1945. Pilot damaged this Spitfire on landing and while he escaped unscathed, the aircraft was written off

and used as a source of spares.

INFO Eduard - FEBRUARY 2022