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  Spitfire "Butch III" Mark Vc Serial Number A58-174 Code DL-H
RAF
54 Squadron

Former assignments
RAAF
1 AD
1 RSU
14 ARD
7 RSU

Click For Enlargement
AWM June 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Supermarine. Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number JG795. Disassembled and loaded aboard SS Austral Star and shipped overseas to Australia during March 1943.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal (RAAF) serial number A58-174. Assembled by 1 AD on March 11, 1943. Next to 1 RSU on May 1, 1943. On May 13, 1943 assigned to RAF 54 Squadron based in Australia. Coded DL-H. Nicknamed "Butch III".

On June 20, 1943 one of forty-six aircraft that scrambled intercept Japanese fighters and bomber approaching Darwin (Raid #55). Took off piloted by piloted by F/O A. Hughes then climbed toward the enemy formation at 27,000'. This aircraft made a firing pass at two Ki-49 Helens, then dived on a "Zeke" [Ki-43 Oscar]. Following this attack, the Spitfire's engine seized forcing it to make a glide landing on the beach at Lee Point. Pilot Hughes was unhurt.

On June 29, 1943, despite being partially submerged by the tide, this Spitfire was successfully salvaged by 14 ARD. Repaired, this aircraft was returned to 54 Squadron on March 11, 1944.

On April 7, 1944 during take off from Wyndham Airfield piloted by P/O A. E. Featherstone the engine failed causing the aircraft to crash at the end of the strip and somersaulted, landing on its back. During the crash, Featherstone was slightly injured. Afterwards, transfered to 7 RSU. On May 16, 1944 converted to components and officially written off.

References
ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-174
NAA "AMSE Approval per File 9/16/1557"
Japanese Army Raid by Richard Dunn

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
Spitfire

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