MJ291, F/O Otto Smik, No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, RAF Appledram,
West Sussex, United Kingdom, June 1944
After returning from operational rest to No. 310 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, F/O Otto Smik chose the MJ291
(coded NN-N) as his personal Spitfire aircraft. Starting
from early April he flew many combat sorties with her
and, shortly before the invasion, he also participated
in attack missions to V-1 missile bases (Operation
Noball). He also flew her in the depicted form during
the first days of the Normandy landings. The aircraft
sported quick identification black and white stripes on
the fuselage and both wing halves. Smik had also six
white swastikas painted on the fuel tank cover to indicate the number of kills achieved as of June 7, 1944.
During the invasion days, three more swastikas were
added by June 17 as Smik shot down an Fw 190 on June
8 and added another one on June 17. More to it, he also
scored in cooperation with P/O Vindiš and so he added
another shared victory. These successes made Smik
not only the most successful pilot of No. 134 (Czechoslovak) Wing during the Normandy landings, but also
the most successful Czechoslovak pilot flying Spitfires
with a total of nine kills and two shared.
MH883, F/Lt George F. Beurling, No. 412 Squadron RCAF, RAF Biggin Hill,
United Kingdom, December 1943 – April 1944
George Frederick Beurling, a brilliant pilot and
shooter but also a naturally enigmatic Canadian,
achieved incredible success during the fierce fighting over Malta in 1942, scoring 28 confirmed kills in
only six months. In early November 1943, he returned
to combat action with No. 127 (RCAF) Wing. He flew
with No. 403 Squadron RCAF initially, then with No.
412 Squadron RCAF. There he used the MH883 aircraft
as his personal Spitfire. Flying it he shot down an Fw
190A-5 of Heinz Wyrich of 5. Staffel JG 26 during a
flight on December 30, 1943. It was Beurling's 32nd
and final victory. Like his previous Spitfires he had
flown regularly, this one also sported an impressive
list of victories on the left side of the fuselage under
the cockpit. And Beurling had painstakingly painted
them himself. In early April he returned to Canada
after a disagreement with his superior commander.
Interestingly, although nine of his Maltese casualties
were Italian aircraft, all of his painted kills are marked with the German swastika.
MJ628, W/Cdr Daniel A. R. G. le Roy du Vivier, CO of No. 324 Wing, Italy, May 1944
One of the privileges of Wing Commanders in the RAF
was the possibility to use their initials as the code
on their personal aircraft. The commander of No. 324
Wing, W/Cdr Daniel Albert Raymond Georges le Roy
du Vivier, took advantage of this opportunity, as evidenced not only by the aircraft's code made of letters
R du V, but also by the Wing Commander pennant
under the cockpit. Belgian le Roy du Vivier had already joined the fighting when Germany invaded the
Netherlands in May 1940. After leaving for the UK, he
spent most of his time in the ranks of No. 43 Squadron, which he eventually commanded. He took part
in the attempted landing at Dieppe and later moved
to North Africa, commanding first No. 239 Wing and
then No. 324 Wing. He returned to the UK in July 1944.
This aircraft was inherited from him by the new Wing
Commander, Barrie Heath, and changed its code to
the B H letters.