Supermarine Spitfire photographs
Spitfire Mk.I RAF 19Sqn QV S/Ldr G.D. Stephenson shot down during operation Dynamo Dunkirk
Photograph Source: Avions 93 Page 9
Spitfire Mk.I RAF 19Sqn QV-H Wing Commander George Unwin R6776 Britain 1940
Spitfire R6776 Ia 807 EA MIII FF 22-6-40 (CG) 6MU 25-6-40 cannon wing fitt 19S 27-6-40 AAEE 4-9-40 VA 5-9-40 AFDU Duxford 11-1-41 R-RH 10-2-41 Cv Vb M45 AFDU Duxford 21-2-41 92S 3-3-41 engine failed crash-landed 19-3-41 AST 316S 12-10-41 306S 12-12-41 Damaged by Bf 109s on ground Bolt Head CAC 1-5-42 recat E Westland SOC 12-5-42 FH234.00
Spitfire Mk.I RAF 19Sqn QV-H Wing Commander George Unwin X4179 Britain 1940
Spitfire X4179 Ia 1019 EA MIII FF 12-8-40 24MU 15-8-40 266S 18-8-40 19S 13-9-40 609S 27-9-40 66S 24-2-41 57OTU 14-3-41 FA 8-5-41 MMO 131S 24-8-41 140S 3-4-42 FAAC 8-1-43 ros 57OTU 9-6-43 engine failed on takeoff wheels up landing overturned Eshott CE 24-10-43
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia RAF 19 Squadron QV-I Sgt B.J. Jennings X4474 Fowlemere 1940
Spitfire X4179 Ia X4474 Mark Ia c/n: 1150 Factory: EA Engine:MIII FF 16-9-40 6MU 17-9-40 19S 'QV-I' 20-9-40 7OTU 5-10-40 602S 22-10-40 610S 14-12-40 53OTU 3-3-41 ASTH 11-4-42 to 3598M 6SoTT 2-3-43 allot RDAF cancel 22-9-47
Spitfire MkI RAF 19Sqn QV-W Flt Lt Wilfred Clouston K9854 Duxford, October 1939
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I RAF 19 Squadron coded yellow 19 K9795 Duxford 1938
19 Squadron Spitfires
Spitfire Is of 19 Squadron, based at Duxford in Cambs, flying in echelon formation. Leading the flight is the squadron commander, Sqn Ldr HI Cozens in aircraft K9794. Image dated 31 October 1938.
The squadron was the first to receive the Spitfire in August 1938 and these early aircraft are fitted with the original two-bladed wooden propellers but have had the original flat cockpit replaced by the more familiar bulged canopy.
The '19' painted on the tail was removed soon after this picture was taken.
Spitfire MkIa RAF 19Sqn George Unwin at Fowlmere Cambridgeshire IWM CH1355
Flight-Sergeant George "Grumpy" Unwin of No. 19 Squadron RAF climbs out of his Supermarine Spitfire Mark I at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, after a sortie. Unwin shot down 14.5 enemy aircraft between May and September 1940.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1355 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209951
Spitfire MkIa RAF 19Sqn QVH X4425 at Fowlmere Cambridgeshire IWM CH1371
The Intelligence Officer of No. 19 Squadron RAF (back to the camera) receives pilots' accounts of a sortie at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire. The pilots are (left to right): Squadron Leader B J E 'Sandy' Lane (Squadron Commanding Officer), Flight-Lieutenant W J 'Farmer' Lawson and Sergeant D Lloyd.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1371 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209960
Spitfire MkIIa RAF 19Sqn P7420 at Fowlmere Cambridgeshire IWM CH1357
Groundcrew refuelling Supermarine Spitfire Mark IIA, P7420, of No. 19 Squadron RAF from a tractor-drawn petrol bowser at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire. This newly-arrived example was one of the few Spitfire Mark IIs to fly operationally with a front-line squadron before the end of the Battle of Britain.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1357 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209952
Spitfire MkIa RAF 19Sqn QVI X4474 at Fowlmere Cambridgeshire IWM CH1451
Spitfire Mark IA, X4474 QV-I, of No. 19 Squadron RAF, taking off from Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, with Sergeant B J Jennings at the controls.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1451 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126868
Spitfire MkIa RAF 19Sqn QVB X4179 at Fowlmere Cambridgeshire IWM CH1447
Spitfire Mark IA, X4179 QV-B, of No. 19 Squadron RAF, on the ground at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, as the pilot undertakes a cockpit check prior to take off.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1451 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126867
Aircrew RAF 19Sqn pilots Lawson, Lane n Unwin at Fowlmere Sep 1940 IWM CH1366
Three pilots of No. 19 Squadron RAF confer at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, after a sortie: (left to right): Flight-Lieutenant W J 'Farmer' Lawson, Squadron Leader B J E 'Sandy' Lane (Commanding Officer) and Flight-Sergeant G C 'Grumpy Unwin. Squadron Leader Brian 'Sandy' Lane, CO of No. 19 Squadron (centre) confers with Flight Lieutenant Walter 'Farmer' Lawson and Flight Sergeant George 'Grumpy Unwin at Fowlmere near Duxford, September 1940.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1366 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209954
Spitfire MkIa RAF 19Sqn QVK Sqn-Ldr BJE Sandy Lane P9368 at Fowlmere 1940 IWM CH1367
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA, P9368 'QV-K', of No. 19 Squadron RAF, being rearmed between sorties at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire. P9368 was often flown by the Commanding Officer, Squadron-Leader B J E 'Sandy' Lane, and was also the preferred aircraft of 'A' Flight commander Flight-Lieutenant W J 'Farmer' Lawson.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1367A https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209955
Aircrew RAF 19Sqn pilots at Fowlmere Sep 1940 IWM CH1370
A group of pilots of No. 19 Squadron RAF discuss a recent sortie by Manor Farm at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire. Standing from left to right are: Sergeant B J Jennings, Flight-Sergeant G C 'Grumpy' Unwin, unknown, Flying Officer H S L Dundas (of No. 616 Squadron RAF), Flight Sergeant H Steere, and Squadron-Leader B J E 'Sandy' Lane, the Squadron's Commanding Officer. Flight-Sergeant Unwin's pet German Shepherd dog 'Flash' can be seen to the left.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1370 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209954
Aircrew RAF 19Sqn pilot BJE Sandy Lane at Duxford Cambridgeshire 1940 IWM CH1391
Squadron Leader B J E "Sandy" Lane, Officer Commanding No. 19 Squadron RAF, standing in front of his Supermarine Spitfire Mark I at Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Lane joined the RAF in 1936 and flew with Nos. 66 and 213 Squadrons RAF before the outbreak of the Second World War. He joined 19 Squadron as a flight commander in 1939 and became temporary commanding officer when the existing CO was killed over Dunkirk on 25 May 1940. He fought through the Battle of Britain and was formally appointed as the Squadron Commander after the demise of the next CO on 5 September 1940. Between November 1941 and February 1942 Lane served on staff appointments in the Middle East, before returning to the United Kingdom to command No. 61 Operational Training Unit. In December 1942 he was given the command of No. 167 Squadron RAF but was killed four days after his arrival during combat over the Dutch coast with Focke Wulf Fw 190s of 6/JG1
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 1391 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205212608
Spitfire MkIa RAF 19Sqn Yellow 19 later WZB K9795 at Duxford 1938 IWM CH26
A Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I aircraft of 19 Squadron banking.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 26 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210902
Spitfire database 19S Yellow 19 then 'WZ-B' Duxford 27-9-38 64S 18-4-40 shot down by AA fire Dover landed Hawkinge 13-7-40 49MU 15-7-40 GAL 603S 29-9-40 222S 14-10-40 engine failed crashed Terling 16.30hrs P/O Edridge safe C2 15-10-40 SOC 12-1-41 58OTU 26-2-41 to 4867M 6SoTT 1-1-42
Spitfire MkI RAF 19Sqn Yellow 19 later WZB K9795 at Duxford 1938 IWM CH25
Three Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I aircraft of 19 Squadron in 'V' formation.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 25 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210901
Spitfire MkI RAF 19Sqn Yellow 19 later WZB K9795 at Duxford 1938 IWM CH20
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Is of No. 19 Squadron, autumn 1938.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 20 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210900
Spitfire MkI RAF 19Sqn Yellow 19 later WZB K9795 at Duxford 1938 IWM CH27
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Is of No. 19 Squadron, autumn 1938.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 27 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210904
Spitfire MkI RAF 19Sqn Yellow 19 later WZB K9795 at Duxford 1938 IWM CH28
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Is of No. 19 Squadron, autumn 1938.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 28 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205210905
Spitfire MkI RAF 19Sqn Yellow 19 later WZB K9795 at Duxford 1938 IWM CH21
Six Supermarine Spitfire Mark Is of No 19 Squadron Royal Air Force based at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, flying in echelon formation led by the squadron commander, Squadron Leader H I Cozens, in K9794. Note the two-blade fixed-pitch wooden propellers, fitted to early examples of the type, and the squadron number painted on the fins shortly before the flight and removed soon afterwards.
Imperial War Museum IWM CH 21 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205195668
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Wing Commander George 'Grumpy' Unwin
Wing Commander George 'Grumpy' Unwin, who has died aged 93, was one of the most successful fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain and was twice awarded the DFM; he was one of only 60 men to receive the double award during the Second World War.
In August 1938 Unwin was a sergeant pilot serving on No 19 Squadron when it became the first to receive the Spitfire. He was one of the original RAF pilots to fly the new fighter and, in the early days, he flew regularly as Douglas Bader's wingman.
No 19 was heavily engaged during the Dunkirk crisis in May 1940. Although an experienced pilot by then, Unwin was not allocated an aircraft for the first sortie. He complained bitterly, and it was this that earned him his nickname, which remained with him for the rest of his life. He was in action the next day, however, and soon registered his first success. The squadron was in the thick of the intense fighting, and, by the end of the evacuation, he had claimed the destruction of five enemy aircraft, two of them unconfirmed.
advertisementUnwin flew throughout the Battle of Britain, mainly from Duxford. On August 16 his section of four aircraft attacked a large formation of fighters escorting bombers, and he shot down one fighter over Clacton.
Early September saw the introduction of the controversial Bader 'Big Wing' employing three squadrons, including No 19. The wing flew its first offensive patrol on September 7. After attacking a fighter, Unwin became detached from the rest of his formation. Finding himself alone, he saw Hurricanes engaging a big formation of bombers and went to assist them. A large force of Messerschmitt Bf 109s immediately attacked him over Ramsgate, and he turned to engage them. He hit at least five and two were confirmed as destroyed.
On September 15, the height of the battle, Unwin and his section attacked a force of 30 Bf 109 fighters escorting a large formation of enemy bombers. He dived on one and shot down one of the escorts over London before climbing back to height, where he found two others flying alone. He shot down both. Two days later he was awarded an immediate DFM for 'his great courage in shooting down 10 enemy aircraft'.
Over the next few weeks Unwin accounted for three more German fighters and he shared in the destruction of two others. He achieved his final success on November 28, when he was patrolling over a convoy. Early in December it was announced that Unwin had been awarded a Bar to his DFM.
The son of a Yorkshire miner, George Cecil Unwin was born on January 18 1913 at Bolton-on-Dearne. He was educated at the local grammar school, where he was a fine footballer (he later turned out for the RAF). Determined not to join his father in the mines, he answered an advertisement offering apprenticeships in the RAF; he joined as a boy clerk when he was 16 and trained at the air force's apprentice school at Ruislip.
After serving at Uxbridge for four years Unwin was selected for pilot training in 1935 and the following year he joined No 19, flying the bi-plane Gauntlet fighter. He served with the squadron for four years, and was one of the very few to fly in action throughout the Battle of Britain and survive unscathed. In December 1940 he was rested.
Initially, Unwin would not apply for a commission, since a senior flight sergeant earned a few more shillings than a junior officer. Once the rules were changed he relented, and was interviewed a number of times; but his background and passion for football did not impress the selection boards. A colleague tipped him off that an interest in horses would make a good impression. For his next interview he decided to tell the panel of his knowledge and love of horses. The board accordingly recommended him for a commission - he had omitted to tell them that his experience was limited to the occasional meeting with the pit ponies at his father's coal mine. He was made a pilot officer in July 1941.
Unwin became a flying instructor, first at Cranwell and then at Montrose, where he remained until October 1943. He then converted to the Mosquito before joining No 613 Squadron in April 1944; he was based at Lasham and employed on night intruder operations. As D-Day dawned, No 613 roamed behind enemy lines attacking fuel supplies, airfields and road and rail links.
By October Unwin had flown more than 50 intruder operations, and he was sent to the Central Gunnery School as an instructor, remaining until June 1946. With the resurrection of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, he joined No 608 (North Riding) Squadron as one of the regular RAF pilots training the squadron's weekend flyers.
Unwin was given command of No 84 Squadron in August 1949, flying the Brigand aircraft from RAF Habbaniya in Iraq. Within months No 84 was transferred to Singapore to provide ground support during the Malaya emergency.
The Brigand was not a popular aircraft, and the squadron suffered a number of losses. Unwin spotted that some were due to premature explosions in the Aden gun carried under the fuel tanks of the aircraft. He was critical of the Brigand's performance and was always prepared to display its weaknesses to higher authorities. Nevertheless, he led the squadron on more than 180 rocket and dive-bombing attacks against terrorist positions.
Not many commanding officers played football, but Unwin was a regular member of the squadron team until he broke a leg. He was invalided home and given a ground appointment as a wing commander. Shortly afterwards it was announced that he had been awarded the DSO, one of very few awarded to the RAF for operations during the Malayan campaign.
In 1955 Unwin returned to Singapore in charge of administration at the large RAF airfield at Tengah, where he still found time to fly the station's jet fighters. Three years later he returned to England to become the Permanent President of Courts Martial. He once commented: 'I presided over 300 courts martial, and not one chap was found guilty of low flying.' He retired from the RAF in 1961.
In retirement Unwin was the Controller of Spastics Appeals for the southern counties, but he never considered that to be work. A passionate golfer with a handicap of six, he lived within walking distance of the Ferndown Club, in Dorset, where he served for many years on numerous committees.
In earlier days he played seven days a week, once commenting: 'I cut it down to five times in winter.' He continued playing until he was 90, but visited the club two or three times a week until his death.
Small in stature, Unwin displayed all the characteristics for which Yorkshiremen are renowned: he was pugnacious, blunt, unafraid to speak out, and he had no time for wasters or for the unprofessional. One of his pilots said of him: 'He was like a terrier, and an outstanding CO who always led from the front. He never failed to back you up if you were right.'
George Unwin, who died on June 28, married Edna ('Jimmie') Cornwell in 1939; she died last year.
Taken from the Telegraph obituary.
Duxford, South Cambridgeshire Map
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