This Spitfire aircraft was built as a single-seat LFlX fighter at the Castle Bromwich factory of Vickers Supermarine, in 1944, as part of contract No. B981687/39. It was delivered to the Royal Air Force at No.33 Maintenance Unit at Lyneham in Wiltshire as PV202 on 18Sep44, where it was brought up to operational standard for service delivery.
During World War Two, it flew with No.33 Sqdn from Merville in Northern France, carrying the codes '5R-Q'.
It was tasked mainly with ground support of offensive operations as the allied forces pushed further into Europe and was also engaged in the harassment of enemy troop movements by carrying out strafing attacks on road and rail convoys.
PV202 had carried out 20 operational sorties with ten pilots from Britain, Denmark, Holland and South Africa during its service with No.33 Squadron.
It was subsequently issued to No.412 Sqdn of the Royal Canadian Air Force, operating from Heesch in Holland; it carried the squadron identity 'VZ-M', later changing to 'VZ-W'. Operations were still to strafe the enemy moving on the ground and the squadron eventually moved further into Germany itself, being based at Rheinand Wunsdorf forward operating airfields.
In July 1945 it was put in storage.
And it was converted at Vickers-Armstrong's Eastleigh factory to a trainer, delivery was completed in June 1951. The Tr.9 Spitfires were used to train pilots for the Irish Air Corps (IAC) Seafire fleet.
In time, the IAC retired its Seafire fleet and the Spitfires took on their duties, until in 1960 they too were retired.
This Spitfire was then used as an instructional airframe and fulfilled this role from Dec. 1960, until it was sold to Tony Samuelson, a collector who was supplying aircraft for the Battle of Britain Film Company.
Samuelson bought four Tr.9 aircraft from the IAC, two of which were made airworthy and used in the filming. This one however, remained on the ground and was never used, remaining in store in Cricklewood.
After 1970 our subject went through various owners. In Sussex, while owned by Steve Atkins, it was converted to
a two-seater and eventually fully rebuilt.
First post restoration flight, from BAe Dunsfold, was on 23Feb90, now wearing its No.412 Sqn colours as PV202 'VZ-M'.
Collector Rick Roberts acquired it in 1992. Who sold the aircraft in March 2000 to Greg McCarrach who intended to export the Spitfire to his base in South Africa. But it was written off in a fatal accident at Goodwood on 08Apr2000, killing the owner and his instructor Norman Lees...
It was inspected by the Aircraft Restoration Company (ARC) and Historic Flying Ltd. (HFL) engineers, to see if a rebuild was possible. Karel Bos, owner of HFL, bought the wreckage and it arrived at the ARC workshop at Duxford on 28Feb2001
Rebuilding PV202 brought its own challenges by way of its damage and the very fact that it was the first Tr.9 variant the company had tackled. Karel Bos decided to present the aircraft in the colour scheme it wore when delivered to the IAC in 1951 and to convert it back to its original configuration, with the bubble top rear canopy.
The aircraft was substantially complete by Feb.2004, but issues delayed the first post-restoration flight to 13Jan2005.
In March 2007 the Dutch owner had the aircraft painted in Royal Netherlands Air Force colours to represent 'H98', one of three Spitfire Trainers sold to the Netherlands in March 1948.
The aircraft showed off her new colours at the Antwerp Airshow in May 2007, before going on to appear at many air shows and events in the UK.
For the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, 2010 saw the aircraft repainted to represent Spitfire X4474 of Duxford's No.19 Squadron. The squadron was based at Fowlmere airfield, near Duxford during the BoB.