Battle of Briatin Film

 
         
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The survivors - other airworthy examples

Spitfire Mk.LFIXe MK732

Squadron:

Type: VS361

Engine: Packard Merlin 66

Serial/Reg. MK732/G-HVDM/PH-OUQ

Sqdn-code: 487 - OU-Q/OU-U

Currently: Airworthy

History

The aircraft was built at Castle Bromwich in early 1944 under construction number CBAF 1732 and Contract number B981687/39/C.23 ( c ).  and delivered to the RCAF as MK732 in March 1944, arriving at 39MU, RAF Colerne for the installation of military equipment and subsequent allocation to 485 squadron (RNZAF). Post war the aircraft was delivered to the RNLAF as H-25 later becoming 3W-17 being officially brought on charge on 24th June 1947 and struck off charge on 4th June 1954. The aircraft was moved to Eindhoven Air Base for decoy use on 30th June 1954 where it continued in use until 1956 when all the military equipment was removed and the aircraft was abandoned. In 1956 the aircraft was "acquired" by No14 squadron and moved by truck to RAF Oldenburg, apparently without permission where it was restored for static display. It was presented to No 124 Wing as a wing trophy and displayed at RAF Oldenburg. From 1957 until 1960 the aircraft was to be found at RAF Aldorn, West Germany and then subsequently moved to RAF Gutersloh where it remained from 1960 until 1969. It was then dismantled and air freighted to RAF Brize Norton on 27th June 1969 from where it was moved by road to RAF St Athan. Here it was stored by No72 MU awaiting restoration from July 10th until late1970. It was then moved to RAF Bicester on December 3rd 1970 here it remained until 1974 assigned the instructional airframe No. 8633M. From October 23rd 1974 the aircraft was stored at RAF Coltishall and used as a spares source for BBMF. The aircraft was moved around a fair bit in the late 70's, Coningsby in 1978; St Athan in 1979 and Abingdon in 1980 where it was stripped and its parts used to rebuild AB910.

Now commenced the aircrafts Dutch adventure, it was obtained by No 322 Squadron RNAF based at Gilzen-Rijen AB on August 30th 1983. It arrived at Schipol on April 13th 1984 where it was displayed until 1985. On 29th November 1985 the restoration was started and the aircraft was moved to the Dutch Spitfire Flight Ltd, on Guernsey where it remained until 1993. It was registered as G-HVDM on January 18th 1991, it was restored to airworthy condition and first flew from Lydd on June 10th 1993 as H25/MK732/Baby Bea V then later flown as MK732/OU-U/Baby Bea V.

The Dutch government acquired a 50% share on December 8th 1993 subsequently buying the remaining 50% from DSF. It suffered a major landing accident on August 25th 1995 and was repaired and then suffered another minor accident t RNLAF Volkel on May 19th 1996 and was repaired.

It then became part of the RNLAF Historical Flight/Stichting Koninklijke Luchtmacht Historiche, Gilze-Rijen AB, on October 28th, 1998. It suffered propellor damaged in take-off accident on March 31st, 1999. Where the blades were replaced. It was repainted in RNLAF colours and fitted with "clipped" wing. Registered as PH-OUQ. It is now flown as RNLAF/3W-17 in silver scheme.

Current location RNLAF Historic Flight, Gilze-Rijen AB - airworthy.

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Other Aircraft

BL628, MA793

P9374, MJ730

MK732