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Supermarine Spitfire PR. XIX

Serial No: PM651/7758M
Period: WWII
Reference: X001-3441
Museum: Cosford
Location: War in the Air
On Display: Yes

Last variant of the immortal Spitfire to see service with the RAF, the unarmed, photographic reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX entered service in June 1944, with No 542 Squadron at RAF Benson, the only wartime user of the type, of which 225 were built. Production aircraft had fully pressurised cockpits for high-altitude missions.

The last operational sortie by an RAF Spitfire was made by PR.19 PS888 of No 81 Squadron in Malaya on 1 April 1954, seeking Communist guerrillas in jungle in the Johore area. Back home in the UK, the last three Spitfire PR.19s operated with the civilian-operated Meteorological (THUM) flight at Woodvale, Merseyside until June 1957.

On 11 July 1957 these aircraft then transferred to what was to become the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) who still operate two of them today, the third aircraft now being owned by Rolls Royce.

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