Dragon DRW50167 RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc Fighter - Squadron Leader Stan Galton, UP-A "JEN III", A58-262, 79th Squadron, Admiralty Islands, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, commenting on the British airmen in the Battle of Britain
The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane, it is remembered as the sleek, thoroughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable prop-driven fighters of World War II, serving in virtually every combat theater.
Supermarine designer Reginald Mitchell created this small, graceful, elliptical-wing fighter with eight guns in the wings that were able to fire without being hindered by the propeller. The immortal Spitfire thus became not merely one of the best-performing fighters of all time, but also one of the best-looking. Although never employed as a long-range escort, the Spitfire was a champion in an air-to-air duel. Spitfires routinely dived at the speed of sound, faster than any of the German jets.
A carrier-based version, called the Seafire, was a winner in its own right, serving valiantly on convoy routes during World War II. The Seafire 47 was even used in the early stages of the Korean War, before it was replaced by more modern jet aircraft.
"Jen III" was flown by Squadron Leader Stan Galton between August and October 1944.
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 6.1 inches
Release Date: June 2007
Historical Account: "The Admiral's Feast" - No. 73 Wing moved to Momote Airstrip on Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Island during March 1944, and No. 79 Squadron become operational there with 24 aircraft on the 29th of the month. From Momote the squadron flew ground attack sorties in support of US troops engaged in the Admiralty Islands campaign until Japanese resistance ceased. No Japanese aircraft were encountered throughout this operation. By the end of April, No. 79 Squadron was mainly engaged in escorting Allied shipping, though flying was hampered by a shortage of spare parts. The squadron's commanding officer, Squadron Leader M.S. Bott, was killed during an accident on April 16th. Shipping escort patrols continued in May, but difficulties in maintaining the Spitfires reduced the squadron to just two operational aircraft with another 12 awaiting repair. This situation continued until late November. On November 9th, two Spitfires unsuccessfully attempted to intercept three Japanese aircraft which had raided Hyane Harbour; No. 79 Squadron subsequently maintained a three-aircraft patrol over Los Negros during daylight hours until November 22nd. Two days later the Squadron was released from operations ahead of moving to Darwin in northern Australia.
No. 79 Squadron arrived at Sattler Airfield south of Darwin on January 12th, 1945, and was reequipped with Mark VIII Spitfires. It began to move to Morotai in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) on February 6th and became operational there as part of No. 80 Wing at the end of March. The squadron conducted ground attack sorties against Japanese positions on nearby islands until the end of the war. Although it did not encounter any Japanese aircraft in this area, several Spitfires were shot down by anti-aircraft fire. No. 79 Squadron dropped leaflets on Japanese positions after Japan's surrender, and returned to Australia in October 1945. The squadron was disbanded at Oakey Airfield on November 12th that year. No. 79 Squadron suffered 13 fatal casualties during the war.