1940 SPITFIRE Mk.Ia X4650

In 1940 during a training exercise X4650 was flown by pilot Howard Squire which collided with Alan Deere’s Spitfire (X4276) over North Yorkshire.

Flight Commander Alan Deere had apparently been advising the young pilot on how to stay close to an enemy aircraft, and said ‘Stick to me like glue’ unfortunately Howard Squire flew too close and hit Deere’s tail with his prop which caused them both to ditch. Sgt Squire and Flight Commander Alan Deere were unhurt with Deere later rising through the ranks to Air Commodore.

X4650 was struck off charge as a Write off/flying accident and remained inaccessible in the banks of the river Leven until 1976 when low river levels during the hot summer revealed the aircraft wreckage.

Restoration was overseen by the Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd and the aircrafts first post restoration flight took place in March 2012, 72 years after it crashed.

In 2016 the aircraft was repainted as ‘R9612’and travelled to France to fly in the ‘Dunkirk’ feature film.

  • 1940 Supermarine Spitfire X4650 built at Castle Bromwich
  • October 1940 delivered to 24 Maintenance Unit
  • 14th November 1940 allocated to 54 Sqn at Catterick
  • 28 December 1940 Collided with another Spitfire during a training flight and crashed into the banks of River Leven
  • Struck off charge 4 January 1941
  • 1976 wreckage recovered from riverbank near Kirklevington
  • 1995 aircraft parts acquired by Peter Monk (Spitfire Company Biggin Hill)
  • Purchased by Texan Dan Friedkin with restoration continuing at Biggin Hill.
  • 10th Feb 2011 registered as G-CGUK
  • March 2012 first post restoration flight at Biggin Hill
  • Now owned by Comanche Warbirds Ltd and based at Duxford Airport UK
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