Spitfire LF Mk.IXc, MH712, W/O Henryk Dygala, No. 302 (Polish) Sqn., ALG G10 Plumetot, France, August 1944
The No. 302 (Polish) Squadron was one of the units that participated in the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. The D-Day „Invasion Stripes“ painted on the bottom of the fuselage and wings indicate that fact as well. This aircraft was equipped with wing
racks for 250Ib bombs. The pointed rudder was freshly painted and so the colors appeared darker than the rest of the aircraft.
Nose art paintings were not common within the RAF, so this one, the girl sitting on the bomb, is one of exceptions. The Polish
stencil right of the cockpit door “Wycierac obuwie” means “Wipe your shoes“.
Spitfire HF Mk.IXc, MJ296, F/Lt Otto Smik, No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Sqn., RAF North Weald, United Kingdom, August 1944
This Spitfire was flown by F/Lt Otto Smik, the CO of B Flight of No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron. On the cockpit door 8,5 confirmed kill marks plus three V-1s destroyed were painted as his personal score of that time. Smik was flying this Spitfire during
July and August on strafing missions over occupied Europe. He was shot down by AA fire during an attack on Gilze-Rijen Air
Base but survived and with the help of the Dutch resistance, he returned to Great Britain. Smik met his fate on November 28,
1944, when he was killed during attack on the Zwolle railway station. The camouflage and marking of this Spitfire were typical for
No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Sqn. with the unit badge painted on both sides of the cowling. Available photos do not reveal the type of
the rudder. The MJ296 could have had either the rounded or pointed type.
Spitfire LF Mk.IXc, MJ586, S/Lt. Pierre Clostermann, No. 602 Sqn., Longues-sur-Mer, France, July 1944
Pierre Clostermann, a famous French fighter ace, became known worldwide thanks to his book “Le Grand Cirque” (The Big
Show) as well. One of the aircraft he was flying during the war was Spitfire MJ586. Clostermann´s score of seven confirmed,
three probable and seven damaged enemy aircraft is painted below windshield. French sources credit Clostermann with 20
kills, but it has been a topic of debate for many years. The post war French numbers are inconsistent with those of wartime
documentation in British archives due to different methodology of these two Air Forces. At the end of WWII, Clostermann flew
Tempests with No. 3 Squadron RAF. Note the squadron badge on both sides of the engine cowling.
INFO Eduard - July 2021