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  Spitfire HF.VIII Serial Number A58-603  
No. 457 Squadron

RAAF c1945
Pilot  P/O David William Finley, 418260 (survived) Bowral, NSW
Force Landed  September 17, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Supermarine in the United Kingdom as Spitfire model HF Mk. VIII (High Altitude Fighter) type 360. Assigned Royal Air Force (RAF) serial number MT684. Disassembled and shipped aboard SS Claudia arriving Australia on September 12, 1944.

Wartime History
On September 19, 1944 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Spitfire A58-603. Reassembled by 3 Air Depot (3 AD). On December 20, 1944 assigned to No. 457 Squadron.

During March 1945, Group Captain Caldwell led a detachment of five Spitfires (including Spitfire A58-528 and this aircraft) plus Mosquito A52-505 and Mosquito A52-526 to Clark Field for comparative performance trials with captured Japanese fighters and bombers, although no trials appear to have taken place. The detachment's visit was cut short due to the "command crisis" at Morotai.

Mission History
On September 17, 1945 took off from Labaun Airfield piloted by P/O David W. Finley, 418260 took off on a on radar calibration and suffered engine failure and force landed at Labaun Airfield. Finley was slightly injured in the crash. On September 27, 1945 assigned to 1 RSU. On October 18, 1945 converted to components and written off. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

ADF Serials - Spitfire A58-603
WW2 Nominal Roll - David William Finley, 418260
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
October 17, 2020

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