1940 SPITFIRE MKI – P9372
Airworthy MkI Spitfires are very rare so the chance to restore an aircraft that was flying over Biggin Hill in 1940 is an honour.
Allocated to number 9 MU (Maintenance Unit) at Cosford and 92 ‘East India’ Sqn the list of pilots that flew P9372 are believed to include Sgt Stanley Barraclough, Flight Officer Anthony Bartley, Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC, Pilot Officer Trevor Wade, Squadron Leader Ronald Fokes, Pilot Officer John Bryson, Sqadron Leader Philip Sanders, Pilot Officer Harry Edwards, Pilot Officer Robert Holland, Pilot Officer Thomas Sherrington and Pilot Officer William Watling.
“September 9th 1940 – engaged Me109’s and was shot down near Biggin Hill at 17.30hrs. Pilot officer William Watling baled out but was badly burnt on his face and hands. After months of treatment by Sir Archibald McIndoe at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead he returned to 92 Sqn operations.”
“PO Watling lost his life on February 7th 1941 whilst carrying out a weather test flight from RAF Manston. Just 20 years of age he rests in the St Marys Cray Cemetery near Orpington”
92 Squadron was one of the first RAF units to be issued with Supermarine Spitfire MkI aircraft . Initially operating from Tangmere and then RAF Croydon 92 Squadron flew from RAF Biggin Hill towards the end of the Battle of Britain.
- One of 200 MkI's produced by Vickers Armstrong at the Castle Bromwich Spitfire Factory
- Originally powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin 3 engine
- Based at RAF cosford No9 Maintenance unit then 92 'East India ' Squadron
- The remains of P9732 were excavated in 1970
- P9732 should return to the skies again with its first post restoration flight planned for early 2023