No. 14D. Supermarine 379 Spitfire F.R. Mk.XIV (RM857) Royal Air Force
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Supermarine 379 Spitfire F.R. Mk.XIV

Remarks by Mark Stewart: "This Spitfire was constructed by Supermarine Aviation (Vickers) Ltd at sub-assembly plants at Trowbridge and final assembly at Keevil with the test flight at High Post. Spitfires constructed in this way at garages and car assembly plants were known as 'Moonraker' Spitfires. Ferried by ATA pilots to 30 MU on October 23, 1944 for final checks, armouring and modifications (photographic components). Allocated to 430 Squadron on November 30, 1944. Damaged by enemy action on January 1, 1945 to Catagory B standard and repaired on-site and ferried to ASTH (Air Service Training at Hamble) for tests. Struck off charge from the RAF and sold to the Belgian AF on July 22, 1948 and allocated the s/n SG-53. Served with the Belgian AF until it was written off on June 30, 1949. The code 'E' is curious as 430 Squadron wore G9-, and the D-Day stripes appear to be freshly painted."

Remarks by Robert Bracken: "The 430 Squadron Mk.XIV only carries its individual letter code - as 430 at the time did not display its unit code, for some reason."

11/15/2006. Remarks by Antoni Lachetta: "430 Squadron was a tactical reconnaissance squadron. It was normal for tactical reconnaissance squadrons not to display the squadron codes. This dates back to the days when Mustang I's were used for this role. Pilots were concerned that the sky coloured codes made them too easily recognised when approaching the target. As a result, from May 1943, the squadron codes were painted out. This is why so many Mustang I's show only the individual letter."

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