Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXb (G-ASJV)
• Aircraft Type: Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXb
• Operator: The Old Flying Machine Company
• Year of Manufacture: 1943
• Powered by: Rolls-Royce Merlin
• Colour Scheme: 222 Sqn. RAF 1943
Air tested by the legendary Alex Henshaw in early August 1943, the illustrious history of this much loved aircraft then continued service with 222 Sqn. MH434 was was flown in combat by South African pilot Flt. Lt. Henry Lardner-Burke, DFC, with seven and a half kills, three damaged. On the 27th August 1943 in the St Omar area over France, Lardner-Burke shot down a Focke-Wulf FW-190 and damaged a second during a mission to escort USAAF B-17 bombers. On the 5th September 1943 Lardner-Burke and MH434 shot down another FW-190 in the Nieuport area, and on the 8th September 1943 claimed a half share in the downing of a Messerschmitt Bf-109G in Northern France. Later flown by Flt. Sgt. (later Wing Co) Bill Burge who declared it to be ‘the perfect Spitfire’. Post war service was seen with both the Dutch and Belgian air forces before finally returning home to civilian life. Ray Hanna began his outstanding partnership with MH434 in 1970 and it has been operated by his OFMCo since 1983. She remains the jewel in the company’s crown.
Images: John Dibbs