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Post Info TOPIC: Stolen Spitfire from RNLAF Eindhoven




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Stolen Spitfire from RNLAF Eindhoven
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At Oldenburg in 1956 following incident occured although I was not actually involved in the theft but in the subsequent refurbishment. During a visit ( squadron rotation ) of 14 Squadron from RAF Oldenburg at RNLAF Eindhoven, No.14 Squadron members "found " the remains of a Spitfire and took her in the middle of the night on a lorry to RAF Oldenburg in Germany as a Squadron Trophy ( without permission )Next morning it was discovered that the Spitfire had been stolen, but because there was already a gate guard at RNLAF Eindhoven no effort was made to get her back by the RNLAF although we heard there were some ripe comments made between the two base commanders. Research showed the aircraft number to be MK732 but as to how it got to Eindhoven, it was not made clear. With volunteers from all sections of Tech Wing & 14 Sqn aircraft was restored to static display condition as MK732 in a standard RAF colour scheme, including black and white invasion stripes. Spitfire was presented to No.124 Wing at RAF Oldenburg by No.14 Squadron as a wing trophy. MK732 was put on display at RAF Oldenburg. The presentation was made as I remember at the farewell parade for the base commander GroupCaptain  Stapelton.

 

When Oldenburg was handed over to GAF in '57 MK732 moved with No.124 Wing from RAF Oldenburg to RAF Ahlhorn in Germany. The aircraft at the time was split down and loaded onto Queen Mary trailers for the short journey. As I remember there was at that time an attempt made by the RNLAF to recover the aircraft back to Eindhoven by stealing the loaded QM's. I seem to recollect the attempt was made during darkness with a crew of Dutchmen getting onto the base and driving off with the vehicles although I cannot be sure. Do any forum members remember this...? I do remember it did eventually arrive at Ahlhorn and was Gate Guardian there in '57 when I left for Melksham.

Doug



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Doug Gawley


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Doug

Piccy here: http://www.militaryairshows.net/spits/mk732.jpg

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Admin wrote:

Doug

Piccy here: http://www.militaryairshows.net/spits/mk732.jpg


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norecamuk wrote:

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Doug

Piccy here: http://www.militaryairshows.net/spits/mk732.jpg


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        Hope Admin will forgive me for doing this the piccy is the attachment below



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Doug, there is a potted history of MK732 here:

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/spitregistry/spitfire-mk732.html

And, quite a few more photos here:

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?codesearch=MK732/3W-17&distinct_entry=true


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Laurie, thanks for the link. it looks as if the old bird is still flying or at least to 2002 it was. As far as I remember the refurbishment at Oldenburg was very thorough.....in fact we had a rigger Flt.Sgt and a Sgt who were drooling over the aircraft, recalling their tales of scrambles during B of B and some of their recollections of the pilots. We did get regular visits from WW2 pilots including Johnny Johnstone (OC Wildenrath at the time I think......he landed a Sabre on the Autobahn I gather.....that must be another story) and they were all impressed. For sure in those times we were really tradesmen which enabled us to do a good job......guess really that not much has changed in the repairs aspect for riggers.....electrically there was not much in the aircraft.

Doug 


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Doug Gawley


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Admin wrote:

Doug

Piccy here: http://www.militaryairshows.net/spits/mk732.jpg



Doug I remember this Spit when it was the Gate Guardian at Gutersloh 1961/2. It always had a cover over the canopy as some drunks coming back from the Flugi early one morning tried to get into the ****pit despite the guardroom being very adjacent and broke the canopy. It was never repaired in the two years I was there. I suppose it was'nt valued as much in those days.



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Sorry but the link doesn't work but this link will take you to Wikipedia where MK732 is mentioned as still belonging to the RNLAF:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_surviving_Supermarine_Spitfires



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