Supermarine Spitfire LF.16

 

 

Supermarine Spitfire LF.16 TB991/GE-L

 

Supermarine Spitfire LF.16

Single engine single seat fighter

 

 

  At the end of World War II, two RAF fighter squadrons composed almost solely of Belgian pilots (N°s 349 and 350 Squadrons) were equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire LF.XVI (later this designation would become LF.16). When Belgium created its own independent air arm (still called Militaire Vliegwezen - Aviation Militaire) in October 1946 twenty seven of these LF.16 Spitfires were taken over on 'temporarily loan" from the RAF pending the delivery of the Griffon powered Spitfire F.14 fighters which were ordered by the Belgian Government. Already as early as March 1946 many of these LF-16's acquired Belgian roundels but they never were attributed Belgian serial numbers, instead maintaining the RAF registrations. In function of the deliveries of Spit Mark 14's the Packard Merlin powered LF.16 were returned individually to the United Kingdom. The last of these machines was returned in March 1948.


Aircraft obtained by the Belgian Air Force on loan from the RAF pending arrival of the Spitfire F.14
Picture  Serial Date In Date Out History
SL596 Oct 1945 Aug 1947 SL596 (RAF), SL596/MN- ., SL596/GE-Z, returned to the RAF and scrapped
TB991 Oct 1946 Feb 1947 TB991 (RAF), TB991/GE-G, GE-L "Liège", Accident at Beauvechain on 03 Feb 1947, Uneconomical to repair, not returnd to RAF.
TD140 Apr 1945 Oct 1946 TD140 (RAF), TD140/GE-X 349 (Belg) Sq RAF, to Belg A.F. in Oct 1946 as TD140/GE-K, returned to RAF and scrapped
TD184 Oct 1946 Sep 1947 TD184 (RAF), TD-184/GE-R, "Suzy", returned to RAF and scrapped.
TD231 Oct 1946 Mar 1948 TD231 (RAF), TD231/MN-J, returned to the RAF, became instructional airframe 6538M of 4SOTT (RAF).
TD372 Jun 1945 Jul 1947 TD372 (RAF), 349 (Belg) Sq RAF, to Belg A.F. in Oct 1946 as TD372/GE-B "Molly", returned to RAF in Jul 1947.
TE444 Oct 1946 May 1947 TE444 (RAF), 349 (Belg) Sq RAF, o Belg A.F. in Oct 1946 as TE444/GE-P, not returned to RAF after accident on 8 May 1947.
 
RAF aircraft having worn Belgian roundels in 1946
Picture  Serial Date In RAF (Belgian) Sq Date Out RAF (Belgian) Sq History
see above SL596 Oct 1945 Aug 1947 SL596 (RAF), SL596/MN- ., SL596/GE-Z, returned to the RAF and scrapped
TB137 Jan 1946  Jan 1948 TB137 (RAF), TB137/MN-K, remained at RAF Fassberg - returned to the RAF and scrapped
TB252 Jan 1946 Oct 1946 TB-252 (RAF), TB-252/MN-J "Mimie", 151 RU (RAF), 61 OTU (RAF), 33MU (RAF), Leuchars gate Guardian, Bentley Priory Gate Guardian as GW-H, Stored Audley End.
TB900 Apr 1945 May 1946 TB900 (RAF), TB911/GE-D "Winston Churchill", Painted overall silver, Crashed at Sylt (D.) in May 1946
TB910 Apr 1945 Jun 1946 TB910(RAF) TB910/GE-J "Bertje", Crashed at Wunstorf (D) on 19 Jun 1946
see above TD140 Apr 1945 Oct 1946 TD140 (RAF), TD140/GE-X 349 (Belg) Sq RAF, TD140/GE-K (349 Sq BAF), returned to RAF and scrapped
see above TD372 Jun 1945 Oct 1946 TD372 (RAF), 349 (Belg) Sq RAF, to Belg A.F. in Oct 1946 as TD372/GE-B "Molly", returned to RAF in Jul 1947.
see above TE444 Oct 1946 May 1947 TE444 (RAF), 349 (Belg) Sq RAF, o Belg A.F. in Oct 1946 as TE444/GE-P, not returned to RAF after accident on 8 May 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated 24/06/17 08:02   Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com