Spitfire MkIa N3200 Shot Down over Dunkirk 26/05/1940



Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1a


Nationality: British

Serial number: N3200

Unit: 19 Squadron

Call sign: QV –

Date of loss: 26th May 1940

This aircraft was based at RAF Hornchurch and was detailed to patrol the Dunkirk area. Following an attack on Ju87s over Dunkirk, the squadron was attacked by Messerschmitt Bf109s of 1./JG1 and 2./JG2. This aircraft was hit in the radiator and forced to belly land on the beach west of Calais at around 8.45am. It is likely that this is one of the Spitfires claimed by Fw. Rudorffer of 2./JG2. The pilot, Squadron Leader GD Stephenson, was captured. In all, the squadron lost three Spitfires in the engagement, with one further aircraft damaged.

The aircraft lay buried in the sand until it was recovered in 1986. After a period on display in the Mimoyecques V3 Museum, it was transported back to the UK for restoration. Work commenced in 2007 and the aircraft was returned to flying status in 2014.

The component on display here is part of the radiator plumbing of the Merlin engine.

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