Corgi AA38701 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV Fighter - Flight Leftenant H. D. 'Johnny' Johnson, 91 Squadron, RAF West Malling, England, July 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.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV fighter that was piloted by Flight Leftenant H. D. 'Johnny' Johnson, who was attached to 91 Squadron, then deployed to RAF West Malling, England, during July 1944. Sold Out!
Release Date: August 2009
Historical Account: "Ruination" - The introduction of the powerful 2,035hb Griffon engined Spitfire MK XIV saw a performance improvement at all altitudes over the earlier Merlin engined variants. It gave the Spitfire a significant advantage over the German FW190A and it also made it ideal for tackling the menace of the V1 'buzz bomb' flying bombs.
No. 91 Squadron, based at West Malling, achieved the best record against the flying bomb, shooting down 184 with its Mk XIVs. One of the Squadron's most successful pilots during the V1 campaign was Flt. Lt. H. D. 'Johnny' Johnson. In total he claimed 13.5 destroyed with his first, shared, kill being in a Spitfire Mk XIV RB188 on June 23rd, 1944. He brought down a further four V1s in the same aircraft which bore the distinctive nose art of a naked lady riding a V1.
RB188 later served with 130 and 350 Squadrons in Europe and was transferred to Thailand after the War.