Griffon Spitfire aces by Andrew Thomas; Tony Holmes

By Andrew Thomas; Tony Holmes

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1 turned inside him, and at about 20 degrees off, 200 yards range, 1 fired another burst of about two seconds. Strikes were observed on the cockpit and engine. Pieces flew offand white and black smoke poured out. The enemy aircraft turned into a steep spiral to port. ' Soon afterwards, a pair of Fw 190s was spotted near Millingen, one of which was shot down by Flt Lt Speare, followed a short while later by a lone Bf 109 whose demise was shared by so many pilots that it was claimed for the squadron.

The enemy aircraft turned into a steep spiral to port. ' Soon afterwards, a pair of Fw 190s was spotted near Millingen, one of which was shot down by Flt Lt Speare, followed a short while later by a lone Bf 109 whose demise was shared by so many pilots that it was claimed for the squadron. This victory completed a hugely satisfactory debut for No 402 Sqn on the Continent. The enemy's light flak, often cunningly camouflaged, was always a deadly foe during the numerous low-level missions flown by No 125 Wing, and it was responsible for a steady stream of damage, and losses, endured by the Spitfire XIV squadrons.

It has the best all-round performance of any present day fighter, apart from range'. Having flown into Antwerp on 10 September, the following day No 130 and 402 Sqns moved over to B82 Grave to join No 125 Wing, which was part of No 83 Group. From here the wing began flying armed reconnaissance and anti-Me 262 fighter patrols over the NijmegenArnhem area. Its wing leader was IS-victory ace Wg Cdr Geoffrey Page, although his spell on the Continent was not to last long, for in the early evening of 5 October he was forced to crash-land RM763 at Grave after being hit by flak near Apeldoorn.

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