Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA7851 Spitfire Vb Trop No.417 Sqn., BR487/AN-V, Tunisia 1943. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The Spitfire Mk.1 first became operational in July 1938 at Duxford, Cambridge. At the beginning of WWII 9 RAF squadrons were equipped with the Mk.1’s with two others converting to the new aircraft. By June 1940 the Mk.1 was being replaced by the faster long-range Mk.II but not before the Mk.I had bore the brunt of the Battle of Britain. The Mk.I also flew protective cover over the evacuation of Dunkirk. The Mk.1A had 8 machine guns instead of 4, a bulged canopy, a 3-blade propeller, self-sealing fuel tanks, armored windscreen and armor plating in front of and behind the pilot.
The RCAF 417 Squadron “City of Windsor” was formed in England in November 1941 as part of RAF Fighter Command and flew the Spitfire MkVb and Vc between October 1942 and September 1943. In June 1942 the 417 Squadron was transferred to Egypt as part of the Desert Air Force to provide support to the British Eighth Army. In April 1943 the 417 Squadron became the only Canadian in the Desert Air Force and provided close support throughout Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. The squadron was disbanded on June 30, 1945.