After spending some 25 years in storage at High Wycombe (UK) Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIVc RM694 (construction number 6S/432268) will finally get a restoration to airworthy condition. Although registration G-DBKL was already secured on 30 March 2009, it was not before early this year that the aircraft was transported to the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar. The expertise of the local Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd. is a guarantee for a quality restoration of this project.
RM694 was built in the Chattis Hill shadow factory in Hampshire and rolled out on 22 October 1943. It was operated by No. 91 (Nigeria) Squadron from the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) of Deanland in Sussex, flying over 30 V-1 interception missions in the summer of 1944.
Passed on to No. 402 (Winnipeg Bear) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, RM694 was relocated to B.70/Deurne near Antwerp, Belgium on 30 September 1944. Soon the Spitfire was substantially damaged in a forced landing and sent to the UK for repair.
After the war had ended, it became a ground instructional airframe at RAF Locking (maintenance number 6640M). It later served as a guardian at RAF Hornchurch from 1950 to 1963. It was then sold to a garage owner for display for only GBP 250!
Since 1966 the project was sold to the USA twice, only to ultimately return to the UK for storage at High Wycombe in 1995.
Photo: Peter Arnold Collection