It did not take long…

Michael wrote back quicky.

Pierre,

My dad was born in 1922 and was still in England in early summer 1944, he was 21 years old.

According to his logbook, he was flying out of #61 at O.T.U., Rednal from 2nd June ’44, from 12 July ’44 at Montford Bridge, and from 4 Aug ’44 at #83 G.S.V., Bognor Regis, Sussex.

Supermarine Spitfires Mark IXs of No. 66 Squadron RAF based at Bognor Regis, Sussex, flying to Normandy to provide a cover patrol over the beachhead. The aircraft mounted two patrols, between which they refuelled at an advanced landing ground in France (note the long-range fuel tanks under the fuselage), before returning to their base airfield. Source IWM

He commenced flying with 127 wing, 403 Squadron in Normandy, France on 20 August 1944, so some of the photos from my grandfather’s album may well have been prior to my dad’s joining #403 in August ’44.

His first entry after joining #403 is dated 20 August 1944 in “Spitfire IXB, No.B, Armed reccy – First Op! 2 MET. Damaged”.

I see no Spit IXCs in his logbook after he joined #403, they are primarily Bs.

Michael also sent me these pictures.

Collection Van Sainsbury

Early Summer 1944 403 Squadron
Collection Van Sainsbury

When you look at the two pictures who can see both we taken at the same time…

As well as this one…

I just can’t figure out why this Spitfire would have only three blades if it’s a Mk IX…

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