SQUADRONS! No.48: The Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV – The British squadrons

The Spitfire XIV was the logical development of the Spitfire Mk XII (see SQUADRONS! 5). The Mk.XIV differed from the Mk.XII in that the longer, two-stage supercharged Griffon 65 was mounted further forward. A new five-bladed Rotol propeller was used and was the most obvious visual difference compared to earlier marks. The first batch of aircraft to fly with the Griffon 60 series engines were six converted Mk.VIIIs . The first one of these was flown on 20 January 1943, with production ordered following a series of trials. The first aircraft left the production line in October 1943 following the amendment of existing Spitfire contracts. The XIV was initially seen as an interim design pending the Spitfire Mk.XVIII’s availability. Delays with the XVIII meant the XIV became one of the major Spitfire fighter variants and a valuable asset for the RAF during the final year of the war. The XIV was built as a fighter, but was also developed for fighter-reconnaissance (FR) to replace the effective, but ageing, Mustang in the Tac/R role. During the war only a limited number of squadrons were equipped with the type and among them, Nos. 41, 91, 130, 610 Sqns. This book covers the operational usage of the Spitfire XIV by these four fighter squadrons, as well the RAF tactical reconnaissance units (Nos. 2 and 268) which became operational before the end of the war in Europe. A short chapter covers also the arrival of the Spitfire XIV in the Far East. This book is illustrated with about 75 photos and ten colour profiles.

Profiles:

NH745/EB-V (S/L D.I. Benham)

MV260/EB-P (F/L A.O. Gaze – Australia)

NH654/DL-F (Lt H. de Bordas – France)

RB188/DL-K 

RM738/AP-A (S/L P.V.K. Tripe – Canada)

RB159/DW-D (S/L R.A. Newberry)

MV257/JEJ (G/C JE. Johnson)

TZ136/XC-P (S/L J.F. Roberts)

RN133/FF-B (S/L K.L. Charney)

RN135/YB-A (S/L J.H. Lacey)

Paperback version is available with ISBN 979-1096490-80-6

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