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  Spitfire Mark Vc "Tasmanian Devil" Serial Number A58-178 Tail UP-G
USAAF
79 Squadron

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January 12, 1944
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Simon Thomas 2006
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John Allan 2006
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Zdenek Ondracek 2007
PacificWrecks.com
Zdenek Ondracek 2007

Pilot  F/Sgt Dudley Albert Grinlington, 408842 (WIA)
Damaged  January 12, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Supermarine at Castle Bromwich, United Kingdom during 1942. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number JG891. Disassembled and loaded aboard SS Tijuga and shipped overseas to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) serial number A58-178. Reassembled by 1 AD on April 15, 1943 with Merlin M46 engine number 78723. Assigned to 79 Squadron on May 7, 1943. Next back to 1 AD to install a temperate cowling modification, instead of the tropical volks intake, completed by May 19, 1943. On June 1, 1943 returned to 79 Squadron. Coded "UP-G". Nicknamed "Tasmanian Devil" with the nose art of a map of Tasmania with a devil superimposed over top on the left cowling.

Mission History
On January 12, 1944 took off from Kiriwina Airfield piloted by F/Sgt D. A. Gringlington, 408842. While landing, without flaps during wet and gusty condition, this aircraft flipped on its back at Kiriwina Airfield. Pilot Gringlington was slightly injured in the crash. On January 17, 1944 transfered to 11 RSU but never repaired. Officially written off on February 19, 1944.

Wreckage
Until 1973, this aircraft remained at Kiriwina Airfield. During 1973, recovered by Monty Armstrong and shipped to New Zealand.

Restoration
During 1975, sold to Don Subritzki who began a composite restoration to flying condition using parts from Spitfire A58-149.

During April 1999, sold to Karel Bos / Historic Flying Ltd. Shipped to the United Kingdom. during July 1999. Restoration was completed at Duxford. Registered as G-LFVC. On November 2, 2006 this aircraft made its first flight.

Painted in the markings of Spitfire JK879 Coded T-B piloted by F/Sgt John G. "Jack" Hughes, RCAF assigned to RAF 249 Squadron based on Malta during 1943, but retains its actual RAF serial number JG891. Last flown in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2008.

Purchased by Tom Blair, Kissimmee, FL and shipped to the United States. The volks intake was replaced with the standard intake.

References
ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-178
NAA "AMSE Approval to Write off per File 9/16/1369"
Kiwi Aircraft Images Spitfires
Brian's Spitfire Photographs
Airlines.net Photos of GH891
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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