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Author Topic: Number of Spitfire squadrons at start of WWII?  (Read 8104 times)

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Offline casper

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Number of Spitfire squadrons at start of WWII?
« on: November 29, 2006, 01:06:40 PM »
I was looking at the RAF site and they have a history of the Spitfire on it. One section mentions the number of squadrons equiped with the Spitfire at the outbreak of the war

Quote
By the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939, Spitfires equipped nine squadrons - Nos 19, 66 and 611 at Duxford, Nos 54, 65 and 74 at Hornchurch, No 72 at Church Fenton, Nos 41 and 609 at Catterick and No 602 at Abbotsinch.




It says 9 but if you actually count the squadrons listed there are 10. Does anyone know where I could confirm whether it was 9 or 10?

Offline Irish R.Seer

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Spitfire Squadrons
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 10:30:34 PM »
According to Alfred Price in his book, Spitfire- A Complete Fighting History, "up to September 3rd 1939 the RAF had excepted delivery of a total of 306 Spitfires,of which 187 formed the full equipment of ten squadrons(Nos 19, 41, 54, 65, 66, 72, 74, 602, 603 and 611) and part of the equipment of one more(No 609)"

Hope this is of some help.



Bill
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Offline casper

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Number of Spitfire squadrons at start of WWII?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2006, 01:05:02 AM »
Many thanks for that.

Quote
and part of the equipment of one more(No 609)




The info I was referring to was

http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/spit2.html



A bit more confusion now - it states

Quote
Additionally, No 603 Squadron was in the process of replacing its Gladiators at Turnhouse.




So was it 609 or 603 squadron that was under going the transition?

Offline Irish R.Seer

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Spitfire Squadrons
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2006, 11:05:38 AM »
Curiouser and curiouser!

Alfred Price states, "Spitfires of No 603 Squadron were the first unit to achieve a kill with the new fighter."  :?:

However you would think the RAF would know what they did with their first delivery of Spitfires. :?



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Offline casper

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Number of Spitfire squadrons at start of WWII?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 12:52:19 PM »
Found this additional information in the Squadsons section of the RAF site

603 Squadron

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Within two weeks of the outbreak of war in September 1939, the squadron began to receive Spitfires and passed on its Gladiators to other squadrons during October.


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It was operational with Spitfires in time to intercept the first German air raid on the British Isles on 16 October, when it destroyed the first enemy aircraft to be shot down over Britain in the Second World War.


609 Squadron

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No fighters were received until the arrival of Spitfires at the end of August 1939, with war only days away.


So 603 did score the first kill but weren't equipped at the start of the war