Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series AA29101
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Diecast Model
RAF No.127 (Canadian) Wing, MK329, Johnnie Johnson, St.Croix-sue-Mer, France, Beer Runs, 1944
|Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX
Wearing full D-Day identification markings, Spitfire MK329 JE-J "Junior" was the personal mount of RAF ace pilot James Edgar "Johnnie" Johnson, one of the RAF's top scoring fighter aces of WWII and one who's impressive tally of 34 confirmed aerial victories was scored exclusively against Luftwaffe single engined fighters. Flying extensively in support of the D-Day landings, Johnson and the squadrons under his command would be employed in aggressively clearing the skies of northern France of Luftwaffe fighter opposition, something they proved rather effective at doing. In fact, by D-Day, Johnson was one of the most successful Allied air aces still flying operationally, with his victories showing no sign of abating. Johnson and his No.127 (RCAF) Wing were one of the first fighter units to be sent to operate from forward landing bases in France following the successful Normandy landings, which is where the unusual story of this particular aircraft comes from. It appears that Spitfire Mk.IX MK329 was something of a hybrid machine and not the one Johnson actually flew in combat, but more of a hack airframe.
It is reputed that once his unit had been sent to operate in France, he used this Spitfire to fly back to the UK on unofficial "Beer Runs", returning to their temporary home with two beer kegs attached under the wing of his aircraft. This practice was frowned upon by the RAF top brass, so units came up with ingenious ways around the restrictions, using standard external fuel tanks which had been thoroughly washed out for the purpose of transporting their beer, however, despite their very best endeavours, the beer still had a nasty aftertaste of fuel. It is thought that as Johnson was particularly highly regarded by both his men and his superiors, a blind eye may have been turned on his unofficial Spitfire sorties and the refreshing ordnance they ferried. There are few details regarding the actual production and service career of Spitfire MK329 in existence, which Johnson described in his memoirs as being a collection of components from various different Spitfires, something of a mix and match airframe. This is borne out by the fact that its serial MK329 is very similar to that of his usual and favoured combat mount around that time, Spitfire MK392 - is this the reason why he referred to this aircraft as "Junior"? Whatever the true story, this beautiful Spitfire and its unusual underslung load makes for a fitting first release for our Corgi's new Spitfire Mk.IX tooling.
Designed by R.J.Michell to meet a British Air Ministry specification, the Supermarine Spitfire first flown on March 5th, 1936. With its combination of beautiful fighter design, the excellent performance of its Rolls-Royce Merlin powerplant and firepower provided by twin cannons and four machine guns, the Spitfire became an unrivaled symbol of victory. The Spitfire had 40 major variants and was built in greater numbers than any other British aircraft of the time. It flew operationally on every front between 1939 and 1945 and was engaged in every one of the Royal Air Force's major actions.
© Copyright 2003-2024 The Flying Mule, Inc.
The Corgi "Aviation Archive" range presents highly-detailed, ready-made diecast models of military and civilian aircraft. The vast Aviation Archive range has become the standard by which all other diecast airplane ranges are judged. Each Corgi model is based on a specific aircraft from an important historical or modern era of flight, and has been authentically detailed from original documents and archival library material. Famous airplanes and aviators from both military and commercial airline aviation are all honored.
Corgi "Aviation Archive" diecast airplanes feature:
- Diecast metal construction with some plastic components.
- Realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels and surface details.
- Pad printed markings and placards that won't fade or peel like decals.
- Interchangeable extended/retracted landing gear with rotating wheels.
- Poseable presention stand to display the aircraft "in flight".
- Many limited editions with numbered certificate of authenticity.
- Detailed, hand-painted pilot and crew member figures.
- Authentic detachable ordnance loads complete with placards.
- Selected interchangeable features such as speed-brakes, opened canopies and access panels.
- Selected moving parts such as gun turrets, control surfaces and swing-wings.
© Copyright 2003-2024 The Flying Mule, Inc.