Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc
Operator: Fighter Aviation Engineering LTD
Year of Manufacture: 1942
Powered by: Rolls Royce Merlin 46
Colour Scheme: 129 Squadron RAF. EE602 ‘Central Railways Uruguayan Staff.’
On 11th September 1942 Spitfire Mk.Vc EE602 was built by Westland in Yeovil, Somerset under contract number B124305/40. When built, EE602 was fitted with the universal ‘C’ wing configuration. This allowed it to be fitted either with 8 machine guns, 4 20mm canons or a mix of 4 .303 machine guns and two 20mm canons. This aircraft had the mix of machine guns and cannons. It was fitted with a Rolls Royce Merlin 46 engine. This produced 1,415 bhp at 3,000 rpm and +16 ib/sq. in. boost at 14.000 ft.
EE602 started out with 66 Squadron. 66 was the second Spitfire Squadron to come into existence and fought in the Battle of Britain. She then went to 129 Squadron, in recognition of the large sums of money the Indian Government raised through the sale of War Bonds some squadrons were named after Indian provinces and 129 was named ‘Mysore’ Squadron. Its final squadron was 453 Squadron (RAAF).
EE602 completed over 100 Missions including escorting the Flying Fortress ‘Memphis Belle’ back to the English coast after her now famous 25th Mission with 129 sqdn, until she was damaged in a taxying incident and taken off charge.
Individuals, companies, clubs, or counties could buy their own Spitfire.’ They had to collect £5,000 for their donation. One such company was the Uruguayan railways. Run at the time by British expats. You will see on EE602’s side ‘Central Railways Uruguayan Staff.’ She was formally ‘presented’ to 129 Squadron on 31st May 1943.
After a painstaking restoration to concourse standard lasting more than three years, EE602 now flies again in the markings it wore while serving with 129.
First image credit: Richard Paver
Second image credit: Harry Measures