The Making of the film:
Spitfire Mk.FIa K9942
Engine: Merlin III
Serial No./Reg: K9942
Sqdn – code: 72 – SD-D, 72 - RN-D, 57OTU-(Operational Training Unit), 53OTU- (Operational Training Unit)
Role in film: Spares, Currently: Display
K9942 was built by Supermarine at its Woolston, Southampton factory under contract No. B527113/36. It was the 155th Spitfire built and was fitted with a Merlin II engine. Its first flight was by George Pickering at Eastleigh on 21st April 1939. Delivered to No.72 (Basutoland) squadron, RAF Church Fenton, on 24th April 1939, K9942 was assigned to A Flight and coded SD-D, during September 1939 the squadron codes changed to RN-D. Subsequent bases included Leconfield (17th October 1939), Church Fenton (1st November 1939), Drem (1st December 1939), Leconfield (12th January 1940), Church Fenton (13th January 1940), Acklington (on 2nd March 1940) and Gravesend (on 1st June 1940).
K9942 suffered a Category B accident (beyond repair on site) on 5th June 1940, when it returned to Gravesend following a patrol over Dungeness at 20,000 ft flown by Sgt Hamlyn and landed with the wheels retracted. It was transferred to No.4 MU at Ruislip (Hanworth Air Park) with effect from 21st June 1940 and the damage was repaired there by General Aircraft Ltd. The aircraft was then dispatched to No.6 MU Brize Norton before joining No.57 Operational Training Unit at Hawarden near Chester on 17th August 1940.
The aircraft served with this unit until 6th February 1942, where possible codes used were JZ, LV, PW, XO when it was once more declared Cat.B, during a heavy landing on 6th February 1942, repairs were commenced one week later on 13th February and it was awaiting collection on 19th September, being delivered to No.33 MU at Lyneham on 23rd September. By 10th April 1943 it was on charge with No.53 OTU at Kirton-in-Lindsay, possible codes used MV, QG, where it suffered Cat.B damage for a third time on 22nd October. Following repairs it was again issued to No.33 MU on 3rd March 1944 and transferred to No.82 MU at Lichfield on 25th May where a Merlin III was fitted. By 28th August its historical significance had evidently been appreciated and the aircraft was allocated for museum purposes and transferred to No.52 MU at Cardiff.
It was moved to No.58 MU Newark in September 1951, and then transferred to No.15 MU Wroughton in 1955 where it was placed in storage. It was then moved to RAF Fulbeck and placed in the Air Historical Branch Store in 1958. It then transferred to No.71 MU at Bicester, Oxfordshire, in August 1959. Where it was used as a travelling exhibit being placed on display in Whitehall advertising The Battle of Britain Exhibition painted in No.72 (Basutoland) squadron camouflage and coded RN-V in September 1959. During September 1960 and 1961 it was again to be seen in Whitehall advertising The Battle of Britain Exhibition this time painted in No.41 squadron camouflage and coded EB-T. On 22nd August 1964 the aircraft was on display at RAF Kemble coded FB-T, these being codes from a bomber OTU. The aircraft was placed on display in the Guildhall in London to mark the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Painted in No.72 (Basutoland) squadron camouflage and coded RN-V. It joined the production of the film The Battle of Britain for possible spares use although not used in the film. In September 1968 the aircraft was on display at the RAF Abingdon Battle of Britain display still in its No.72 squadron markings. It was transferred to the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, to which it was delivered on 9th November 1971.
On display at RAF Museum Hendon it has been
allocated airframe serial 8383M and painted in No.72 (Basutoland) Sqn
camouflage. Coded SD-V, Nov. 9. In May 1998 the aircraft was dismantled and
transported by 71 MU from RAF Bicester to Medway Aircraft Preservation
Society for restoration to original configuration when delivered to the RAF.
Current location – RAF Cosford, Museum – on display