Tom Spencer describes how in the closing months of World War Two the Griffon-powered Spitfires of the RAF’s 41 Squadron were heavily involved in operations on continental Europe.

Artwork depicting Flt Lt Derek Rake’s engagement with a Junkers Ju 188 in the Lubeck-Keil area on May 3, 1945. This was the squadron’s 200th and last aerial victory of the war.

D-Day: June 6, 1944 saw British, American and Canadian troops storm the beaches of Normandy and quickly established a bridgehead in France. After weeks of tough fighting, their break-out was swift: Paris was liberated on August 25 and Brussels on September 3. Some said it would “all be over by Christmas”.

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