Planes

   PFT began their African tour using available Spitfires Mk VB and VC. However, that situation changed a week later, when on 23rd of March group of pilots went to Algiers to pick up first part of Spitfires Mk IXC. They were:

ZX-1

ZX-2

ZX-3

ZX-4

ZX-5

ZX-6

EN459

EN247

EN361

EN313

EN267

EN315

The next day, Krol, Martel, Majchrzyk and Popek brought remaining four planes:

ZX-7

ZX-8

ZX-9

ZX-10

EN268

EN286

EN300

EN261

   ** Please note - EN261 did not have codes painted almost to the end of the tour.
Other planes delivered were : EN355/
ZX-0 , EN462/ ZX-1* , EN257/ ZX-4*
  ** - replacing damaged a/c
    All Spitfires were early production Mk IXC, with short carburetor intake and Mk V style tail planes. Without proper tropicalization (ie. air filters) it was more than a challenge for ground crew to keep them operational. Gun stoppages caused many lost opportunities in actions, turning "sure kill" into "damaged".


 
Damaged EN459 in Gabes.
This a/c was repaired but did not return to PFT, going to # 145 Sqn, then # 601 Sqn, then # 93 Sqn
.
(Courtesy J. B. Cynk, via F. Grabowski)


 
EN315 (probably piloted by F/O Drecki) with EN261 beyond.
(Courtesy T. Drecki, via F. Grabowski)
Below, profile of that aircraft courtesy of Robert Gretzyngier.


(Courtesy J. B. Cynk, via F. Grabowski)