Oxford AC001 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter - Sgt. Ralph Havercroft, No. 92 Squadron, Biggin Hill, England, August 1940 (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.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I fighter that was piloted by Sgt. Ralph Havercroft, who was attached to No. 92 Squadron during August 1940. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 6.1 inches
Release Date: June 2011
Historical Account: "Tich" - Ralph Havercroft, known as "Tich" because he was only 5'2" tall, joined the RAF volunteer Reserve in 1937. In 1939 he spent two months training with an operational squadron and this included his first flight in a Spitfire. A few days before the declaration of war, he was called up to full time service. He transferred to 92 Squadron in March 1940 just days after it had been re-equipped with Spitfire Mk I aircraft. The squadron became fully operational in May 1940 moving to RAF Northolt then Hornchurch. They were kept very busy over the Channel including at the evacuation at Dunkirk.
In June 1940, they moved to Pembrey in south Wales to defend the Welsh ports and parts of the south coast. August 1940 saw increased activity from the Luftwaffe so 92 Squadron began operating from both Pembrey and Bibury in Oxfordshire. This involved landing at night for which the Spitfires and airfields were ill-equipped. The result was several aircraft requiring repair. In September 1940, 92 Squadron was posted to Biggin Hill in Kent where it was very active in the ongoing Battle of Britain.