The Spitfire Factory Workers Who Helped Win the Battle of Britain

The Most Famous Aircraft Ever Built:

the RAF Supermarine Spitfire

spitfire_1713636c

The plane that saved Western Civilization, or helped to, anyway, shown here being built at the main Spitfire factory in Southampton UK in 1941.

 

A very cool article from the Telegraph of London about the workers who built the Spitfire and about the documentary recently made about these men and women. Over one hundred civilian workers were killed by German bombs when the Supermarine factory was targeted by the Luftwaffe.

 

From the London Daily Telegraph
The Spitfire factory workers who helped win the Battle of Britain.

 

By 

The extraordinary story of workers building the aircraft that helped win the Battle of Britain is detailed for the first time in a BBC television documentary. More than 100 were killed by Luftwaffe air raids that flattened the Spitfire factory in Southampton 70 years ago this month.

But despite the loss of their colleagues and the destruction of the city’s Supermarine workshops, employees found alternative sites within weeks and began producing aircraft around the clock. Furniture stores, garages, and even a bus depot were commandeered to allow more fighters to be built as the aerial battle with Germany intensified.

You can read the entire article here:

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/battle-of-britain/7996986/The-Spitfire-factory-workers-who-helped-win-the-Battle-of-Britain.html

 

spit44

Spitfire Mark VB, R6923 ‘QJ-S’, of No 92 Squadron RAF based at Biggin Hill, Kent, banking towards the photographing aircraft.  It was shot down over the sea by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 on 22 June 1941.

(Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum. Posted by author Charles McCain).

 

8033934651_710c6e353b_b-640x381

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb serial no. AA936. 

(thought to be an official RAF photo) 

Produced in October 1941, AA936 was one of the early series of Mk. Vs coming from the Supermarine factory. The aircraft had an unusually long combat career serving between November 1941 and August 1944.

The aircraft was lost on 1 August 1944 as the engine cut forced the pilot to ditch off St. Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight.

Caption from www.spitfiresite.com. Photo courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum Archives www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/

spitfire-iwm-canadian-forces-01-640x430

A row of Supermarine Spitfire Mark XIVs  of No. 130 Squadron RAF, on the ground at B.82/Grave, Holland.

 

130 Squadron received their Griffon-powered Mk. XIVs two months after D-Day. The new type was immediately put to good use in countering the V1 menace then ravaging Britain.

photo and caption courtesy www.spitfiresite.com

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/