Battle of Briatin Film

 
         
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The survivors

Spitfire Mk.FXIVc RM694

Squadrons:

Type: VS379

Engine: Griffon 65

Serial No. /Reg. RM694

Sqdn – code: 91- DL-, 402- AE-J, CFE (Central Fighter Establishment)

Role in film – Allocated not used, Currently - Stored

History

RM694 was ordered against Contract Number 1877/c.23(c) Req.1/E11/43 on 23rd October 1943 and was built at Chattis Hill as part of batch RM670-713. It was fitted with a Griffon 65 and a “C” type wing. First flown in July 1944, the aircraft bears c/n 6S/432268 and was delivered to No.33 MU at Lyneham for armament, radio and other service equipment to be installed.

No.91 (Nigeria) squadron took delivery of 694 on 18th July 1944 at Deanland and on 7th August Flt Lt A R Elcock used it to shoot down a V1. On an unknown date in August 1944 the aircraft was transferred to No.402 (Canadian) squadron at Hawkinge and in September it transferred with the squadron to a new base at Antwerp, Belgium. Sqdn Ldr W G Dodd, the CO of No.402 squadron, suffered engine failure whilst flying 694, 1.5 miles north of Koksijde and force-landed, the aircraft sustaining Cat.B damage. By 27th October it had been allocated to Air Service Training Ltd. For repairs, these being notified as being complete on 21st April 1945.

RM694 was transferred to No.6 MU, Brize Norton on 13th May 1945 and stored until issued to the Central Fighter Establishment at West Raynham two months later. Here it remained in service until November 1948, when it was grounded as a result of a flying accident.

Issued to No.5 S of TT at Locking, Somerset, with ground instructional serial 6640M in February 1949, its stay was relatively brief and by May 1950 it was placed on display outside the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre at RAF Hornchurch, Essex. Here it remained until the base was closed and 694 went to No.60 MU at Dishforth for disposal.

A H “Bunny” Brooks, a garage owner of Hoylake, Cheshire, bought the aircraft for £250 and its “C” type wings were used to reconstruct the ex-Belgian Mk.XIV NH904 to display condition. The fuselage was sold to J D Kay of Manchester Tankers Ltd in 1966 and it was stored at Charnock Richards, Lancashire, until delivered to Elstree in 1967, where Simpsons Aeroservices Ltd surveyed it for possible use in the film The Battle of Britain. This was considered uneconomic and the fuselage was stored at Henlow until returned to Charnock Richard in March 1968.

A W Francis acquired it in January 1968, together with sundry other components, and it was moved to Southend Airport and placed in temporary open storage for a short while. Bill Francis then sold the fuselage, together with that of RM927 TO John Lowe and Larry Mat of Chicago, Illinois. The package also included three starboard wings which had been located at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, and all were stored at the Victory Air Museum, Mundelein, Illinois.
The aircraft returned to the UK in 1985 having been purchased by Doug Arnold/Warbirds of GB Ltd, Bitteswell.

Its next owner was Don. L. Knapp/DK Precision, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 1989.

Then it was acquired by Vern Schuppan, FL, 1995.

- Stored. -- Project with RM694 fuselage & Mk. 18 wings.

Current location – High Wycombe – stored

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