Why does the 'Suffolk Spitfire' boast a USAAF scheme?

When the United States Army Air Forces entered the war in Europe, Spitfires appeared adorned with stars and bars. Darren Harbar reveals why and details their operations with the 309th Fighter Squadron in North Africa

In 1940, with war raging in Europe, President Roosevelt sought to provide aid to Britain, without committing the US to war. He sold the idea of supplying arms to Europe to a sceptical nation, by suggesting it was like lending a hosepipe to a neighbour whose house is burning down, and that they would return it having put out the fire. In December of that year, he stated: “We should do everything to help the British Empire defend itself.” That the US went above and beyond that sentiment is shown in the history books, but it wasn’t an entirely one-sided deal, as Britain did its bit to help the US Army Air Forces (USAAF), by supplying it with Spitfires

Parked in front of the hangar at IWM Duxford, RW382 is now resident at the former Battle of Britain airfield. A former gate guardian at RAF Uxbridge it was removed from its pole in 1988 and restored to flying condition
Parked in front of the hangar at IWM Duxford, RW382 is now resident at the former Battle of Britain airfield. A former gate guardian at RAF Uxbridge it was removed from its pole in 1988 and restored to flying condition Darren Harbar

 

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