Prestwick, United Kingdom
Digital Art - Digital Art Print
September - 1940
The height of the Battle of Britain and some RAF Squadrons have been deployed to small private airfields in the Home Counties as the main bases are rendered unusable by continual Luftwaffe attacks.
The image shows the remains of a Spitfire section, nominally four aircraft - but often reduced to three due to combat attrition - recovering to the typical grass strip afforded by such private airfields. The long hot summer days of that year make the lack of proper accommodation much less of a hardship - flying gear and other equipment is strewn around the �ready� area as the crews wait for the next �Alert� call. In the background another section stands at immediate �readiness�. The body language of the NCO pilot in the foreground says it all - �Damn, we lost another one�.
The attrition rate for the RAF pilots was severe - August and September saw 544 KIA, just over 20% of the total pilot complement - and only alleviated by the change in Luftwaffe tactics from airfield attacks to the start of the London �blitz�.
Image is a multi-composite from many shots of the RAF re-enacters at Duxford with aircraft images from various airshows. Dogs are, of course, not allowed at airshows so the unit pooch has been recruited from the family album - a much loved and sadly long gone �mutt�.
January 26th, 2012
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