The Magnificent Fighter Plane Which Helped the Allies to Victory
the Supermarine Spitfire
Awesome shot of a restored Spitfire in 2005.
Spitfire LF Mk IX, MH434 being flown by Ray Hanna in 2005. This aircraft shot down an FW 190 in 1943 while serving with 222 Squadron RAF.
The paragraphs below are from the page “Presentation Spitfires” a section of a comprehensive website with everything you want to know about Spitfires. You can find the site here:
“Buy a Spitfire” funds sprang up overnight, being further encouraged in 1940 by Lord Beaverbrook when he was appointed by Winston Churchill to run the newly-formed Ministry of Aircraft Production. Very soon the streets of every village, town and city resounded with the rattle of collecting tins, as well as assorted donations from overseas. From Accrington to Zanzibar, from Scunthorpe to New Zealand, from Iceland, America, Brazil, South Africa and India the money poured in.
Newspapers started funds amongst their readers urging them to get “their” Spitfire before a rival newspaper, and a running total with full lists of donors and donations was published each week. “From all at No.15 Station Lane”, “My week’s pocket money – Fred Smith aged 7″, “My first week’s old age pension – 10 shillings (50p) towards our Spitfire”. Penny by penny, pound by pound the fund grew, until that magical day when the target was reached, the cheque sent, and the local newspaper proudly published a photograph of the town’s Spitfire.
A Kent farmer charged people sixpence (2½p) “to see the only field in Kent without a German aircraft in it”. During an air raid, the manager of a London cinema pushed a wheelbarrow up and down the aisle, asking for donations, “The more you give, the less raids there will be.”
OBSERVER CORPS, Spitfire Mk. IIA EB-Z ser. no P7666 was a personal aircraft of Sqn/Ldr Donald Osborne Finlay, Commanding Officer of No. 41 Squadron in Hornchurch. The Observer Corps (not yet called the Royal Observer Corps) managed to raise enough money to purchase two Spitfires.
(Photo courtesy of http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/presentation-spitfires.html)
During Spitfire fundraising campaigns, you would given a small button or badge when you made a contribution which one proudly wore.
The Lord Mayor’s Leicester & County Spitfire Fund World War Two
(Photo courtesy http://www.bcclive.hark2dev.com/badges)
a nice lapel pin showing you gave to your Spitfire Fund.
Spitfire funds were confined to Great Britain. Colonies and Dominions (which were self-governing as opposed to colonies) set up Spitfire funds as well.