BBMF ‘Spit’ gets desert markings

Spitfire LFIXc MK356 taxiing out at Biggin Hill for its air test on 6 October with Sqn Ldr Andy Millikin at the controls.

Sqn Ldr Andy Millikin, officer commanding the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, carried out Spitfire LFIXc MK356’s post-major service air test at Biggin Hill on 6 October. Having arrived at The Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd, Peter Monk’s engineering company, after the 2016 display season painted in a No 126 Squadron D-Day scheme, it has emerged in a striking desert livery. The brown (dark earth) and sand (middle stone) top surfaces and azure blue undersides, with the codes QJ-3, represent No 92 Squadron’s Spitfire IX EN152 as flown by the then Flt Lt Neville Duke in Tunisia during April-May 1943.

This is the first time that a BBMF Spitfire has been painted in desert camouflage for more than 10 years, LFVb AB910 having been the last in 2003-06. MK356 was expected to be back at its RAF Coningsby base before the end of October.