A primary aim in returning Spitfire PRIV AA810 to flying condition is to pay tribute to the RAF’s photo-reconnaissance squadrons — and to do so with a meticulous rebuild of this very rare machine
It may not look very much to the uninitiated eye, but the signs are there. A wide-open expanse in the Oxfordshire countryside, just north-west of the village of Berinsfield — just another piece of farmland, one might think. But the tell-tale areas of disused concrete help give it away, and on closer examination with the benefit of local knowledge, its airfield origins are rendered clear. This is the former RAF Mount Farm, one-time satellite to nearby Benson, subsequently known in its own right as US Army Air Forces Station 234. The latter period is marked not far away by a memorial incorporating a mock-up Supermarine Spitfire propeller, in honour of the 7th Photographic Group. But of activities here by the RAF’s No 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, there is rather less recognition. A current — indeed, a unique — restoration project aims to change that.