View Full Version : Identity of Spitfire

04-27-2009, 10:26 AM
Can anyone identify what Mk Spitfire this is:


I see it has D-Day stripes, and carries three bombs (1x500lb and 2x250lb).

I also see 2 cannon and are the other 2 guns .50 cal?


04-27-2009, 11:05 AM
With the 4 props, the "E" wing (i.e. with the 20mm on the outside), and the Vokes AeroVee filter I would say, possibly, a Spitfire XVI

04-27-2009, 01:10 PM
With the 4 props, the "E" wing (i.e. with the 20mm on the outside), and the Vokes AeroVee filter I would say, possibly, a Spitfire XVI

Did you mean XIV?

I thought just about all Spitfires had been converted to 4 props by D-Day? The Spit IX certainly had 4 props, I don't know if the XIV had 5 props from it's early 1944 days or whether it was converted to 5 later?

You are right that this is an 'e' wing with 2x20mm cannon and 2x .50cal MG
But that doesn't help much, as the IX and the XIV had 'e' wing varients.

I wasn't familiar with the vokes AeroVee filter, so perhaps that's something that may help.

04-27-2009, 10:12 PM
I'm with Amrit; Spitfire LF XVI with Packard Merlin 266, corresponding to a RR Merlin 66.

The "E" wing would usually mount one 20mm Oerlikon and one or two Browning .50cal in each wing. Often one .50cal would be removed from each wing, leaving one cannon one .50cal in each wing, this arrangement used on a fighterbombing mission.

The small orifice in the starboard wing-root close by the fuselage is the gun-camera orifice, shifted from the left side in the "C"-wing to the right side in the "E"-wing.

The auxiliary intake high on the cowling would suggest Mk XVI, as would the 2 part oil-splash ring behind the prop.
Also in favour of XVI is that most XIV's were delivered with bubble canopies apart from about 2 dozen early examples. Most, if not all, XVI's had the traditional fuselage and canopy.

Sources : Wm Green "Famous Fighters of the Second World War." ,
"Spitfire!" By Alfred Price.

Hope the info helps, Saxon.

Regards, Uyraell.

04-28-2009, 02:58 AM
Just to add to Uyraell's excellent, and thorough, post, the XIV also had a whip aerial - and the picture has the standard aerial.

And the stripes may not indicate that it was taken at D-Day as they were used throughout the rest of 1944, through to Market Garden and after.

What is the source of the photo? A pilot/unit name will enable us to confirm, or not, the Spitfire mark

04-30-2009, 08:01 AM
And to add to Amrit's last post, the stripes were in fact in use as early as Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, though in reversed order, and thinner of width.

However, if a Mk XVI as I think it to be, the aircraft in the picture would at the earliest have been manufactured circa Feb/March of 1944, and certainly no earlier than Nov.1943, since the XVI was not type-promulgated (today we'd say "homologated") earlier than mid-Sept. of 1943 and production lead-in time (even under wartime urgency) was on the order of 9 weeks at the very fastest.

All of which sets the stage, as it were, for a Mk XVI, since, oddly enough, the XVI was promulgated ahead of the XIV, IIRC.

Regards, Uyraell.

04-30-2009, 06:50 PM
Sorry but I've had this photo for some time, and don't recall where I got it.

We know it's an 'e' wing, which I assume means it must be a Mk IX or later.

The Mk IXe was first delivered, I believe, in march 1943, and served throughout the rest of the war.

Can we definately rule out a Mk IXe, and if so, why?

Thanks guys,

05-01-2009, 03:21 AM
The reasons I think the aircraft a MK XVI are many, but I can give a few more, after a certain amount of head-scratching.

Mk IX's of whichever submodel tended to be fitted with the rectangular rearview mirror inherited from the Mk V parent. This holds true in the majority of cases. After the Mk IX the rear view mirrors tend to be of the circular pattern seen in the picture.

The undercarriage oleos give another clue, in as much as: they were strengthened considerably in the later marks of Spitfire, being of both higher internal pressure and thicker metal tubing. The oleos in the picture here seem to be of the later type, seen post- Mk IX.

Next would be the mainwheels of the undercarriage. The pattern of those rims would be another clue, as would the tires themselves, in some models.
Again, to my eyes these seem later than those of a MkIX.

Next would be the tailwheel, which looks to be a late-model streamlined type of small diameter, as opposed to the earlier larger diameter tailwheels up to the Mk V. However, the very late Spitfires such as the Mk 21 had a tailwheel larger than that of the pre- Mk V series aircraft. (Again, bearing in mind that the Mk V sets the pattern for the Mk IX.)
The tailwheel mounting is itself yet a further clue, though an admittedly subtle one.

That's about as much extra detail as I can recall at this stage, and I hope it helps.

Usual caveat: if I'm in error I apologise.

Regards, Uyraell.

05-01-2009, 04:58 AM
Well it looks like Uyraell and I have to eat our words!!


http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iwmcollections.org.uk%2FqryMai n.php&TN=Uncat&SN=AUTO4233&SE=2080&RN=366&MR=500&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=allResults&EF=&DF=allDetails&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=1&ID=&MF=WPENGMSG.INI&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=180722&NR=0&NB=0&SV=0&BG=0&FG=0&QS=



MAKER: Saidman (Plt Off) Royal Air Force official photographer

OBJECT TYPE: Official photograph

FORMAT DESCRIPTION: Official photograph

Wing Commander A G Page, leader of No. 125 Wing, in the cockpit of his Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXE 'AGP', with a 500-lb GP bomb under the fuselage and two 250-lb GP bombs on wing racks, ready for take off at B11/Longues, Normandy. Later the same day, Page was to shoot down his 14th enemy aircraft, a Messerschmitt Bf 109, returning to Longues wounded in the leg and his aircraft damaged by anti-aircraft fire.

05-01-2009, 06:42 AM
Excellent find Amrit! How on earth did you come across that?

No apologies needed. I know how difficult these things can be, which is why I asked for additional help. After a few months service, there's no such thing as a pure-bred variant. Things like undercarriage, aerials and mirrors get upgraded or damaged and replaced. And many aircraft went through more than one varient during their service.

This aircraft was clearly a later model, which probably threw you off the scent.

Looks like I didn't get my copy of the photo from the IWM. It's nice not to have their stamp across the bottom of the photo.


05-01-2009, 08:49 AM
Well done Amrit !!!!!
Exceptional find! :)

Saxon, My Apologies, I was in error. But it goes to show, one never knows for certain, going by mechanical details alone.

Here's hoping IWM got it right as well:D

Warm Regards, Uyraell.

05-02-2009, 02:12 AM
Cheers guys - I followed a hunch, and basic intuition, and it payed off. It is indeed very difficult to ascertain a particular Mark from some angles, but it was certainly fun trying.