Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA7852 Spitfire Vb Trop No.601 Sqn., EP689/UF-X, Libya, Dec 1942. 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.
In August 1941 the No. 601 Squadron “County of London” was equipped with the Bell Airacobra but it proved to be the wrong aircraft for European warfare so in March 1942 the squadron re-equipped with sixteen Spitfire Vb’s and added some Spitfire Vc’s in June. In April 1943 the 601 was involved in the defence of Malta before moving to Libya with a final destination of Egypt. Throughout 1942 and until June 1943 when they returned to Malta the 601 made twenty six moves.