Corgi AA33909 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter - Pilot Officer Robert Doe, 'X4036', "Battle of Britain", No. 234 Squadron, RAF Middle Wallop, England, August 1940 (1:32 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 1:32 scale replica of a RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I Fighter that was flown by Pilot Officer Robert Doe.
Wingspan: 14 inches
Length: 11-1/4 inches
Release Date: August 2010
Historical Account: "Either End of the World" - Wing Commander Robert Francis Thomas Doe DSO (India), DFC, was a flying ace of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain in World War II; and who served with honor with the Indian Air Force during the Burma campaign.
Doe was posted to No. 234 Squadron on November 6th, 1939, a Spitfire Squadron based at RAF Leconfield alongside Australian Pat Hughes. Doe would serve with No. 234 squadron for most of the Battle of Britain. Doe claimed his first victory on August 15th when he shot down two Messerschmitt Bf 110s, followed by: a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and a probable Dornier Do 18 on the 16th; a Bf 109 destroyed and another Bf 109 damaged on the 18th; a shared Junkers Ju 88 on the 21st; and shot down a Bf 109 on the 26th.
In September, he added to his tally with No. 234 Squadron, downing three Bf 109s on the 4th; a Bf 109 on the 5th; damaged three Dornier Do 17s and shot down a Bf 109 on the 6th; and destroyed a Heinkel He 111 on the 7th.
On September 27th, Doe was posted to No. 238 Squadron based at RAF Middle Wallop in Wiltshire, claiming his first victory for the squadron on the 30th when he shot down an He 111. In October, Doe shot down a Bf 109 on the 1st and a Ju 88 on the 7th - the last of his 14 and two shared aerial victories of the battle and of the war.
On October 10th, in combat over Warmwell, Dorset at 12:00 with some Bf 109s, his plane was critically damaged and he was wounded in the leg and shoulder. Doe bailed out, landing on Brownsea Island while his Hawker Hurricane crashed near Corfe Castle Viaduct - on what is now part of the Swanage Railway. Admitted to Poole Hospital, on October 22nd, 1940, Doe was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and received a Bar a month later, on November 26th. Doe rejoined No. 238 Squadron in December 1940.