1942 Spitfire F MK IX – BR601

After being displayed on a pole in a Cape Town scrap merchants in the 1950’s BR601 was returned to airworthy condition for the Collings Foundation in the USA. The first post restoration flight was on 31st August 2016.

  • BR601 was the sixth Spitfire Mk.IX, built at Southampton during 1942.
  • First flight at Eastleigh, 16 June 1942.
  • Flown to 45 MU at Kinloss the next day.
  • 9 July, ferried by Polish ATA pilot Stefania Wojtulanis from Prestwick to Hornchurch, arriving 11 July.
  • Allotted to 64 Squadron, (first unit to receive Mk.IXs) First ops flown with Mk.IXs on 28 July.
  • 21 October 1942, Sqdn Ldr Colin Gray suffered a burst tyre on landing, resulting in undercarriage collapse and wing damage.
  • Repaired at 39 MU and issued to 453 (Australian) Squadron 2 April 1943.
  • 17 July 1943, issued to 129 (Mysore) Squadron, again at Hornchurch.
  • 28 August 1943, reallocated to 316 (City of Warsaw Squadron, a Polish Squadron based at RAF Northolt.
  • 28 September 1943, placed on charge with 165 (Ceylon) Squadron at Culmhead, moving to Colerne later that month.
  • 19 March 1944, under repair again at Air Service Training, and repaired again at 8 MU on 29 August.
  • 27 February 1945, sent to Vickers Armstrongs for modifications, going into storage at Lyneham with 33 MU
  • 27 January 1949, shipped to South Africa on board SS Clan Mackellar, arriving 13 March.
  • 16 March 1951, now serialed 5631, issued to the Air Operation School at Langebaanweg Air Base, suffering three landing accidents and being relegated to a ground instructional airframe with 7 Squadron.
  • 10 March 1955, sold to scrap merchants, South African Metal & Machinery Co, Salt River, Cape Town.
  • Restored by apprentices from the Atlas Aircraft Corporation for static display on a pole in the scrap yard. Placed on display in 1976.
  • Sold to Doug Arnold in 1986 for £70,000 and stored at Biggin Hill.
  • 1994, sold to Jet Cap aviation and moved to Bartow, Florida where it remained untouched.
  • Transported to the Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas.
  • Acquired by Jeff Thomas in January 2008 and sent to Avspecs at Ardmore, New Zealand.
  • 29 July 2009, acquired by Peter Monk, and fully restored for the Collings Foundation, Stow, Massachusetts, USA
  • First flight after restoration 31st August 2016.
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