AR213 Spitfire LF Mk 1a in the Markings of 57 OTU RAF Coded JZ-E
Related Notes by Caz
AR213 a Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia completed on July 24th 1941. AR213 never saw combat; instead, it served as a training aircraft at Operational Training Units (OTU), until put in to storage on 17th August 1944 and was finally being struck off charge on 30th November 1945.
Sold to Group Capt Allen Wheeler on 10th March 1947 and registered G-AIST, but was stored until 1967 when it was brought to flying condition for 'The Battle of Britain' film. Allen Wheeler sold G-AIST to The Hon Patrick Lindsay in 1978 and it remained in his ownership until his death. In April 1989 G-AIST was sold to Victor Gauntlett.
When Victor Gauntlett passed away in 2003, ownership transferred to Peter Livanos. It was at this time that it was decided to totally rebuild the Aircraft not only to extend its potential Airworthiness for another 20 years, but also, bring it as near its original specification as feasible for modern flight operations. Personal Plane Services (PPS) at Booker, undertook this major and expensive project resulting in AR213/G-AIST taking to the air again on 12th November 2007 from Booker.
Whilst this first flight was undertaken with the Aircraft still in primer, it was then painted in the authentic Markings of 57 Operational Training Unit (OTU ) RAF. with the Code JZ:E, This designating it as the personal Aircraft of Flight Lieutenant James Harry 'Ginger' Lacey, who had shot down more enemy aircraft then anyone else during the Battle of Britain and was posted to 57 OTU for a rest as an instructor.
Reading Note: A great read if you can find a copy is: 'Ginger Lacey - Fighter Pilot' By Richard Townsend Bickers' [Pan Books]
The above Photograph was taken at the Shoreham RAFA Air Show on 30th August 2008,
For a detailed history see:
AR213 Spitfire LF Mk 1a - City of St Albans Spitfire Squadron Page
Spitfire Mk.FIa AR213 - Sons of Damien Website