Spitfire AB910’s last wartime operational sortie – 15th July 1944

Header image: Spitfire Mk Vb AB910 (Photo: Jim Dooley)

Eighty years ago this month, on 15th July 1944, BBMF Spitfire Mk Vb AB910 flew its last operational sortie of the Second World War, with 402 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). This was a two-hour shipping protection patrol of four Spitfires, covering convoys to France, with Pilot Officer Ken Heggie RCAF at the controls of AB910.

402 Squadron was now re-equipping with Spitfire Mk IXs, although not for long as they were soon to receive new Griffon-engine Mk XIV Spitfires. The Spitfire Mk Vs had almost seen their day in the front line and AB910’s operational flying came to an end after 58 operational sorties with 402 Squadron and 143 in total. During almost three years of front-line duties AB910 had played a significant part in the war, including being involved in the fierce aerial battles of the Dieppe Raid on 19th August 1942, and the D-Day operations in June 1944. It was now to serve in a training role with No 53 Operational Training Unit at Hibaldstow for the rest of the war, allowing new Spitfire pilots to find their feet with the type before joining an operational unit, and also achieving infamy by flying with a WAAF on the tail!

Spitfire AB910 is currently undergoing a ‘Major’ servicing with The Spitfire Company at Biggin Hill, which is progressing well, and she is expected to be returned to the BBMF at the end of September.  On her return she will be painted in the markings she wore with 402 Squadron RCAF during the D-Day invasion period. Watch out for a feature on AB910’s time with 402 Squadron in the forthcoming Club Autumn Journal.

On its return from its ‘Major’ servicing, Spitfire AB910 will, once again, be in the markings it wore whilst serving with 402 Sqn RCAF during the period of D-Day and for its final wartime operational sorties. (Artwork: Chris Sandham-Bailey inkworm.com)

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