Dragon DRW50165 Limited Edition RAF Spitfire Mk. Vb Tropical Fighter - Squadron Leader Plagis, 64th Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve (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.
This particular 1:72 scale tropical Spitfire was flown by the Squadron Leader Plagis. Comes with decorative diorama base and certificate of authenticity.
Release Date: June 2006
Historical Account: "The Crown's Reserves" - On March 1st, 1936, No. 64 Squadron was reactivated at Heliopolis, Egypt, although for political reasons it was announced as having reformed at Henlow, Bedfordshire (UK). The squadron was equipped with Hawker Demon fighters which had already been sent out to Egypt where they had formed D Flights of 6 and 208 squadrons which were transferred during March 1936 to 64 squadron. It was immediately involved in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War carrying out attacks against Italian airfields and providing fighter cover to refuelling bombers at advance airfields. After the crisis had ended in May 1936 the squadron returned to RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk (UK), in August 1936 to become part of the UK air defenses.
In December 1938, 64 squadron was based at Church Fenton, North Yorkshire and reequipped with Bristol Blenheim Mk I(F) fighters. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the squadron was engaged in patrols off the British East Coast and in December 1939 provided fighter defence for the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow from Evanton, Scotland, for a month. From February to September 1939, 64 Squadron used the squadron code "XQ", followed by "SH" from September 1939 to April 1951.
In April 1940, the squadron converted to the Supermarine Spitfire Mk I. It was immediately engaged in the covering of the Dunkirk evacuation and later took part in the Battle of Britain. In short order 64 squadron operated from Kenley starting May 16th, 1940, from Leconfield starting August 19th, from Biggin Hill starting October 13th, from Coltishall starting October 15th, and from Boscombe Down starting September 1st, 1940.
In May 1941, No. 64 Squadron moved up to Scotland for air defense duties but moved back south in November to take part in sweeps over northern France, until March 1943 when it moved back up to Scotland again. Then, in August 1943, it moved back south again to resume offensive operations and in June 1944, moved to Cornwall for 2 months before beginning long-range escort missions from East Anglia. During that time the squadron was equipped with various marks of the Spitfire: Mk IIA January to November 1941, Mk VB November 1941 to July 1942, and March to September 1943, Mk VC September 1943 to July 1944, and finally Mk IX June 1942 to March 1943, and June to November 1944. In 1944, 64 Squadron took part in the operations of the Normandy Landings, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Scheldt.