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    A Spitfire question. How many...

    Spitfires were serviceable at the end of WWII?

    I was recently asked this question and do not know the answer.

    Any ideas?

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

    #2
    Difficult to answer,

    Define servicable, I say that because a war goer is different to a peacetime contraint.
    During the War... ( Been dying to say that line) ( Falklands) the Army operated a captured Huey, at war end it was then unservicable and effectively grounded as the peace time requirements were different, no one wanted to know it as they could no longer use it, so the RAF Pilot who was flying it during the war took it out to a returning ship, landed on the deck and got them to bring it home as his war booty lol, when the ship docked he got a call at Odiham asking what he wanted doing with it, he called their bluff and asked for it to be delivered, the RN obligingly put it on a low loader and delivered it to him at Odiham, that was the first the RAF really became aware of it, when it turfed up at the main gate.

    Similarly, CH-47 BN was operated with lots of systems not working, door missing , heater U/S and various radio fit inop, no proper support etc, but such was the requirement, peace time constraints were out of the window and it flew like that, and trust me it was a bag of worms when it came back, it more or less had a major overhaul which bearing in mind it only had several hundred hours on it from new.

    BDR is another case, Battle Damage Repair by its nature is a quick fix, broom handles for control rods, wiring twisted back together, quick riveted on patch... post war it would be U/S pending propr repair and possibly even scrapped.
    Therefore at endex WW2 a lot of aircraft could simply be put U/S until sorted. I know the USA operated the likes of P-47's in the SAR role and they had the designation WW added in front of the serial number to indicate War Weary, Ie no longer fit for front line use, but still flyers.

    Hence it's a difficult question to answer, the figures may well show what they had on strength, but as such a lot may simply be scrappers and not servicable, the figures for the RAF I believe still show those aircraft used as training aircraft at Cosford as being on strength.


    That's probably the longest winded reply you will get, that means simply, I do not know

    ..
    Last edited by TonyT; 14th August 2017, 10:51.

    Comment


      #3
      Number of squadrons x 15 aircraft each, plus 10% at MU, who is going to argue that?!
      Martin

      Comment


        #4
        Basically on strength.

        Flying, Under repair, Under maintenance, In transit, In storage, Destined for sale/supply to Foreign Governments etc...but not ground instructional aircraft.

        Appreciating that many in these categories might never fly again with the cessation.

        Looking for a round number.

        Mark
        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

        Comment


          #5
          During my rummaging in the aircraft record cards back in the 80s at MOD London, I recall cards being marked with census dates.Never bothered to note those dates being there to identify crash site remains. So there must be census results on record .somewhere?

          Comment


            #6
            Couldn't you get an approx number by using "Aircraft of the many" by Michael Bowyer it contains the numbers from 1944 Survey

            Did the RAF do another survey at end of the war ?
            Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.

            Comment


              #7
              The word 'Census' appears 6201 times in the movement cards.

              This would include the 1941, the 1945 and the 1947 census returns.

              The word Census will sometimes be repeated per aircraft apart from being in both the 1945 and 1947 census's.

              My geussitmate is between 1000 an 2000 in summer 1945.

              Mark
              "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

              Comment


                #8
                As a side question would be interesting to know how many MK I,II,V and VI were still on the inventory at the end of the war? I wonder how many were put aside for museum purposes but never made it?

                Comment


                  #9
                  As per "Weekly state of Operational Type Aircraft - ACSEA at 7th September 1944" shows a total of 487 + 51 (PR) Spitfires with Squadrons, Training Units, Depots etc in ACSEA/India. Another 59 Spitfires with 222 Group (Ceylon)

                  So atleast an year prior to the war - 597 Spitfires existed in the Asian Theatre.

                  Surely there are similary surveys for other theatres of war that were taken right around September 1945?
                  My Books: The Westland Wapiti in the Indian Air Force (1933-1943) | Eagles over Bangladesh | The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965

                  Comment


                    #10
                    African or European Spitfires?

                    I think some kind of "census" is the best hope. I could, in theory, get a fair idea of those in UK/2TAF, but I'd have far less confidence in counts for other theatres. And even the former would be more work than I care to take on at present!

                    I was just recently thinking of ways to give a visual presentation of the "population" of RAF fighters, but even then I was thinking of number of squadrons, not total count to include OTU etc.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We need to get our hands on this
                      http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C1220341


                      Reference: AIR 20/2008
                      Description:
                      Spitfire aircraft strength at home and overseas
                      Date: 1944 May - 1945 May
                      My Books: The Westland Wapiti in the Indian Air Force (1933-1943) | Eagles over Bangladesh | The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jagan
                        We need to get our hands on this
                        http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C1220341


                        Reference: AIR 20/2008
                        Description:
                        Spitfire aircraft strength at home and overseas
                        Date: 1944 May - 1945 May
                        Many thanks Jagan. Document now ordered on line for copying. 23 Pages of A3.

                        Mark
                        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I now have the 27 pages of Spitfire totals on a broadly monthly basis from May 1944 to May 1945.

                          Total number of Spitfires, Mk V to XIV, in various categories both home and overseas total 3057.

                          That is operational Squadrons, 'other' squadrons, ASU's - Aircraft Storage Units and 'In store and repair'.

                          Mark
                          "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Interesting to have a number, but I must admit that I somehow expected it to be higher. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how this compares to other 'popular' types at the end of the war?
                            A Little VC10derness - A Tribute to the Vickers VC10 - www.VC10.net

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Mark12 do the pages state how many Mk1`s were still around?, it would be very interesting to see how many Battle of Britain Spitfires actually survived the war.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Hi Tony, yes, reference your post (#2).
                                We did have an ADD system then (Acceptable Deferred Defect).
                                I was servicing the Victors during the Falklands & they were coming in with 13 pages full and leaving with 11...

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by One of the few
                                  do the pages state how many Mk1`s were still around?, it would be very interesting to see how many Battle of Britain Spitfires actually survived the war.
                                  Nope. Just Mk V, Mk VII, Mk VIII ,Mk IX, Mk XII & Mk XIV.

                                  Mark
                                  "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                                  Comment


                                   

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