Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7823 / TM-F ‘Down Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Fund’, RAF No.504 Squadron, Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland, March 1941
One of the most fascinating aspects of aerial conflict during the Second World War was the subject of ‘Presentation Spitfires’. Although other aircraft were certainly procured in this manner, the Spitfire was seen as being the fighter of the moment and the one which would bring the Commonwealth deliverance against their enemies. Desperate to do their bit and support the war effort, communities throughout Britain and the entire Commonwealth put aside the hardships of their wartime existence and enthusiastically gave what they could to their local Spitfire fund.
Taking great pride in the knowledge that their community could finance and put their name to a new Spitfire that could represent them in the battles raging in the skies above Europe, these aircraft helped to galvanise the nation in our time of greatest need. The aircraft themselves were simply taken from the current production lines, but were allowed to bear the names of the individuals, companies and communities who had bought them, whilst being careful not to compromise the standard camouflage scheme.