- The aircraft was built by Westland Aircraft in Yeovil, October 1941. as part of a batch of 185
aircraft which made up their third Spitfire order, placed against Contract No. 124305/40 in
October 1941. This aircraft bears the firewall c/n WWA 3832 and formed part of the first
serial batch EF 526-570, being delivered to No. 6 M.U., Brize Norton on 15 February 1943. It was flown north to No. 215 M.U. at Tinwald Downs, Dumfries, where, following its arrival on
24 February 1943, it was packed for overseas shipment and taken on board freighter SS
Asphalian on 5 March 1943.
- Following arrival in Australia, on 17 May, the crated Spitfire, together with the rest of the
shipment, were taken to No. 1 A.P. (Aircraft Park), Laverton, Victoria, where it was taken on
charge by the Royal Australian Air Force on 20 May. On 7 June it was issued to No. 1 A.D.
(Aircraft Depot) also at Laverton, before being allotted to the Reserve Pool operated by No.
13 A.R.D. (Aircraft Repair Depot), at Breddan, Queensland, on 16 June where it was
received on 26 June - remaining with the unit until it was issued to No. 79 Sqdn, R.A.A.F. on
- F/Sgt. Turner picked up EF545 from Breddan and flew the aircraft to Garbutt then to
Cooktown and on to Horn Island on 11 September. On the 12 September F/Sgt. Turner continued to Port Moresby, where, according to a note on the record card, the aircraft was "stood on nose after tyre failure" and allotted to No. 15 A.R.D. for "complete repairs". The repairs were completed quickly and the aircraft re-allocated to the squadron on 18
September although the unit O.R.B. (Operations Record Book) indicates that F/Sgt. Turner landed at Kiriwana at 17.10 on 16 September.
- In service with No. 79 Sqdn EF545 was coded "UP-O".
- R.A.A.F Detail of Operations records show EF545 was flown by F/L. Wettenhall, F/O Hopton and F/O Voges.
- From the 29 November the squadron's aircraft were renumbered with R.A.A.F. numbers. EF545 was numbered A58-149.
- On 13 November 1943 it suffered a wheels-up landing and although deemed repairable sadly the Spitfire met its end on 15 December 1943 when It ignited and was badly damaged and converted to spares.
- It remained abandoned at Kiriwina airfield until it was discovered by Charles Darby in 1972
with the assistance of David Tallichet.
- The remains of this Spitfire was one of three transported to Lae in 1974 from where they
passed through several locations within New Zealand.
- Ultimately the remains of the EF545 were identified by Chris Warrillow who transported them
to the UK and then into the ownership of Aero Vintage Ltd in December 2001.
- The registration G-CDGY was reserved on 19 January, 2005.
This aircraft represents a fantastically rare opportunity to acquire a genuine early mark Spitfire with the 'short' Merlin engine. Acknowledged to be amongst the most delightful of Spitfires to fly, it is light, aerobatic and relatively easy to manage and fly.
It is almost impossible today to find a complete and unrestored Spitfire, and so this project, which came close to being lost for all time, is now one of the last genuine projects available.
During the aircraft's last ownership, a static fuselage was built that was neither accurate nor capable of flight, so the remaining original parts were retained and the static fuselage, which contained nothing of any value, was disposed of and a new fuselage assembly projected for manufacture incorporating as many original parts as is possible. So far the tail unit has been completed, but a start has been made into the construction of the fuselage.
The degraded wings, but with numerous parts re-useable, will be incorporated into the rebuild, together with the many other original items that have been gathered together over the years. The list is appended at the end.
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