Spitfire in service for Italy

STORY

Between 1941 and 1943 the Regia Aeronautica could study a few Spitfire they captured, at least a couple of Mk.VB and a recce variant of unknown version. But these airplans where not used in combat.

 

After capitulation in 1943, Italian recieved 53 ex-jugoslavian Spitfire Mk.VB (a few were tropicalized), but they were so old (someone of 4th hand!), that only 33 were used. Only a dozen were comat available at the end of War.

Spitfire Mk.IXE "Antares" (MM.4093) of 51st Stormo

From 1947, the Italian Aeronautica recieved 99 Spitfire LF Mk.IX and 11 HF Mk.IX. These planes flew with 5th ed il 51st Stormo and an acrobatic team.

When P-47 Thunderbolt arrived, Spitfire were used in secondary duties, such as flight school and RVSM (Reparto Volo Stato Maggiore), 'till 1954-55, when "Vigili del Fuoco" used the last plane for fire exercise.

Spitfire Mk.IX (MM.4079) been restaured at Vigna di Valle

COLORS

SPITFIRE Mk.V: tropical mediterranean colors of Balkan Air Force, with upper surfaces in "dark earth"  and "middle stone", lower surface in "azure blue". On Jugoslavia markings were applied Italian one.

SPITFIRE Mk:IX: Same color as the previous one, or metropolitan colors("dark green" and "ocean grey" above, "sky" under), then changed in a totaly "alluminium 13" camo, with antireflex pannel in "Black 12". The central part of rotor was in alluminium, black, or both, "Red nr8" (some Mk.V). Interiors were in "grey-green", "green Ana 611" or "alluminium 13".

Spitfire Mk. VB/Trop 20th Gr. 51st Stormo C.T. - Leverano (LE) - 1944

(Dark Earth, Middle Stone e Azure Blue colors)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Rivista "Aerei" nr.6 anno 1975

"Aerei da caccia della seconda guerra mondiale" ed. ATLAS 1979

Rivista "Aeronautica e Difesa" nr.29 anno 1989

Rivista "Aerei modellismo" nr.1 anno 1990