Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IX TA805
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IX TA805 FX-M was built at Castle Bromwich in 1944. After delivery to the RAF it went to 29 Maintenance Unit (MU) in December 1944. From there she transferred to 39 MU in 1945 before getting her first operational assignment with 183 Squadron at Chilbolton in June 1945. From 183 Squadron she was transferred to 234 Squadron at RAF Bentwaters in July 1945 before going to 29 MU and being stored. Eventually she was sold to the South African Air Force in 1949 where it served until she was sold to the South African Metal & Machinery Co. in Cape Town, before being scrapped in 1954. Her remains finally got to the South African Museum at Snake Valley. On that spot her remains were discovered and eventually returned to the United Kingdom in 1981. The Spitfire was owned by Steve Atkins, Oxford, UK from 1989 to 1995 and her remains were sent to the Isle of Wight as a restoration project in 1995. She got new owners in 1996, being Peter R. Monk & Mike Simpson from Maidstone, Kent from 1996 to 2002. She was passed to the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford who completed the re-build. On December 7, 2005 she made her first flight out of Duxford after restoration. Being painted in original markings TA805/FX-M while she was assigned to 234 Squadron at RAF Bentwaters in 1945. There she was part of a wing of 24 Squadrons led by legendary Battle of Britain ace and later famous test pilot Wing Commander Roland P. Beamont. She bears the inscription "Spirit of Kent" on the fuselage as a tribute to Kent that was the only county in the UK to have paid for an entire RAF Squadron. This was all done due to the initiative of Lord Cornwallis who raised money for the Kent County Spitfire Fund that financed the complete 131 "County of Kent" Squadron. The Kent Spitfire as she is known, has here home at Biggin Hill, Kent since 2006. This was also the base where the County of Kent Squadron was based in the first days of existence. Sony HDR-FX7e Camcorder Rode SVM Microphone Video and Audio content is Copyright © 2013 Malcolm Auld This video and audio material may not be reproduced in any form (except as the videos You tube embedded video option on any other website), without written permission.