KITS 04/2022

Spitfire Mk.Vc Trop, 307th FS, 31st FG, 12th AF, La Senia, Algier, end of 1942

Teethed Spitfire Mk.Vc of the 307th FS received its

smiling mouth probably at La Senia airbase in December 1942, when the inclement weather restricted

the air traffic but offered enough time for detailed

maintenance as well as nose art artistic creativity.

Camouflage consisted of Dark Earth/Middle Sto-

ne patterns on the upper surfaces, Azure Blue on

the lower surfaces, white propeller spinner, yellow

outlined national insignia and white code letters all

corresponding to the end of 1942 standard. In the

photographs the machine gun muzzles feature very

visible patches in the light color. Another thing worth

noticing are little eyes, the smaller version of the

fuselage ones, painted on the cannon muzzles cloth

patches. The aircraft is usually assigned the serial

ER180, but it seems to be an error because ER180 was

a Spitfire Mk.Vb. The serial of our teeth-adorned aircraft remains unknown then.

Spitfire Mk.Vc Trop, Lt. George G. Loving, 309th FS, 31st FG, 12th AF, Pommigliano, Italy, December 1943

Spitfire Mk.Vc flown by Lt. Loving represents the final

appearance of 31st FG Spitfires at the end of their career. The aircraft were oversprayed with green paint

on the upper and side surfaces, probably US Olive

Drab while the original colors were still showing

through. The camouflage therefore seemed to have

consisted of two green shades. The national insignia

outlines were over painted as well, as long as they

had been carried. The paint around the insignia

appears in the lighter shade. The propeller spinner

is red and the code letters white. At that time 309th

FS aircraft sported the red stripes on the wing tips.

In November and December 1943 31st FG squadrons

were escorting the light and medium bombers, such

as A-36 Apache, A-20 Havoc and B-25 Mitchell to

Rome and Monte Cassino.

Spitfire Mk.Vc Trop, Lt. Richard Alexander, 2nd FS, 52nd FG, 12th AF, Borgo, Corsica, early 1944

Richard Alexander was one of the original Eagle Squadron pilots and his service fairly reflects the story of all

Americans fighting on Spitfires. His teethed QP-A was

one of the last “Fives” finishing their service with 2nd

FS at Borgo airport in Corsica, still in the beginning of

1944. In June 1943, when 2nd FS was still stationed at


INFO Eduard

La Sebala airport in Tunisia, its members gave the unit

the nickname “American Beagle Squadron”, a play with

words on the account of the more famous Eagle squadrons. The American Beagle Squadron marking was

painted on several 2nd FS Spitfires and was also carried on Alexander’s aircraft together with some other

emblems on various locations of the fuselage. It needs

to be stated, that the achievements of the whole 52nd

FG on both Spitfires as well as Mustangs after the integration into 15th AF, did not fall short of achievements of

their more famous colleagues from 8th AF and made its

mark in the history of the American aviation.

April 2022