Good news from the Vintage Wings of Canada is that they are nearly finished restoring their second of threee Spitfires, the latest being a Mk1X, Royal Air Force serial No. TE294. It will join their already restored and flying Mk XV1 and will be followed in due course by a Mk X1V.
TE294 was delivered to the Royal Air Force in June 1945 but did not see combat. After the end of WW11 it served for a time in South Africa during which time it was damaged in a landing accident. It was scavenged for spare parts where is sat for 25 years in a junkyard. A collector named Mark de Vries bought it in 1980 and then took it with him to Vancouver, British Columbia but it changed hands but remained in Canada finally ending up with Vintage Wings in 2009.
When completed, this magnificent aircraft will be on of fewer than 60 flyable Spitfires and/or Seafires in the world. It will be painted in the markings of a 422 Squadron Spitfire flown by Flt. Lt. Arnold ” Rosey ” Roseland, one of the few Canadian fighter pilots to have fought both the Germans and Japanese in WW11.
In a story published on Vintage Wings website, Dave O’Malley wrote why ” a Spitfire should be free to dance the skies and tell the stories of those boys from so long ago “. ” Historical artifacts are often experienced only through interpretation and sight. See it, read the plaque, move on ” he wrote. ” But a Spitfire played its role in a very real world – one with smells, sounds, and the textures as well as visual qualities. As such, it is better understood in its enviroment – the enviroment that its pilots lived, fought and died in. With nearly all second world war Spitfire pilots now dead, soon only the aircraft themselves will remain to tell the story ”
TE 294, affectionately know as The Roseland Spitfire, will be in excellent company when it flies again in the very near future.
Hope you have enjoyed this article.
Until the next time.