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  Spitfire Mark Vc "Tasmanian Devil" Serial Number A58-178 Code UP-G
USAAF
79 Squadron

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Robinson Jan 12, 1944

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Zdenek Ondracek 2007
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Zdenek Ondracek 2007

Pilot  F/Sgt Dudley Albert Grinlington, 408842 (WIA, survived) Armadale, VIC
Damaged  January 12, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Supermarine at Castle Bromwich, United Kingdom during 1942. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number JG891. Disassembled and loaded aboard SS Tijuga and shipped overseas to Australia.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Spitfire Mark Vc serial number A58-178. On April 15, 1943 reassembled by 1 Air Depot (1 AD) with Merlin M46 engine number 78723.

On May 7, 1943 assigned to 79 Squadron with code "UP-G" painted in white on the fuselage. Nicknamed "Tasmanian Devil" with the nose art of a map of Tasmania with a devil superimposed over top on the left cowling.

This Spitfire went back to 1 AD to install a temperate cowling modification, instead of the tropical volks intake with the modification completed by May 19, 1943. By June 1, 1943 returned to 79 Squadron.

Mission History
On January 12, 1944 took off from Kiriwina Airfield piloted by F/Sgt D. A. Gringlington, 408842 on a patrol mission. While landing at Kiriwina Airfield without flaps in wet and gusty wind conditions, this Spitfire flipped over landing upside down at the side of the runway. Pilot Gringlington was slightly injured in the crash.

On January 17, 1944 transfered to 11 Repair Salvage Unit (11 RSU) but never repaired and was abandoned at Kiriwina Airfield. Officially written off on February 19, 1944.

Wreckage
Until 1973, this aircraft remained at Kiriwina Airfield. During 1973, recovered by Monty Armstrong and shipped to New Zealand.

Restoration
In New Zeland, registered as ZK-MKV. In 1975, sold to Don Subritzki who began a composite restoration to flying condition using parts from Spitfire A58-149.

During April 1999, sold to Karel Bos / Historic Flying Ltd. and shipped to the United Kingdom. In July 1999 the restoration was completed at Duxford Airfield.

On September 28, 1999 registered in the United Kingdom as G-LFVC to owner Historic Flying Ltd., Duxford Airfield, Cambridge. On November 2, 2006 this aircraft made its first flight.

Painted in the markings of Spitfire JK879 Coded T-B assigned to F/Sgt John G. "Jack" Hughes, RCAF 249 Squadron on Malta Island during 1943, but retains the correct RAF serial number JG891.

On March 20, 2007 ownership was transfered to Spitfire Ltd. of St. Helier, Jersey. On February 21, 2008 this Spitfire was last flown in the United Kingdom.

Purchased by Tom Blair, Kissimmee, FL and shipped to the United States. The tropical volks intake was replaced with the standard intake. On October 31, 2017 deregistered in the United Kingdom. On December 18, 2018 registered as N5TF to Comanche Warbirds Inc. in Houston, Texas.

References
ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-178
NAA "AMSE Approval to Write off per File 9/16/1369"
WW2 Nominal Roll - Dudley Albert Grinlington
Kiwi Aircraft Images Spitfires
Brian's Spitfire Photographs
Airlines.net Photos of JG891
Warbird Resource Group - Spitfire/JG891
United Kingdom Aircraft Details for: G-LFVC
FAA Registry N-Number N5TF

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Last Updated
January 12, 2019

 

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