Author Topic: Spitfire IXb Floatplane - Backstory  (Read 122 times)

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Offline Leading Observer

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Spitfire IXb Floatplane - Backstory
« on: January 31, 2021, 05:11:02 am »
In February 1945, 12 crated Spitfire IXb Floatplanes were loaded aboard the SS Weybourne at Liverpool, part of a convoy destined for Darwin in Australia, for use against Japanese forces operating in the Islands around New Guinea.
As the convey neared its destination, the Weybourne suffered engine problems and, being unable to keep pace with the rest, she was ordered to fall out of the convoy, and make her way independently to Darwin.
Shortly after the rest of the ships disappeared over the horizon, the Weybourne was sighted by a Japanese Navy vessel and arrested. Subsequently she was escorted to Balikpapan in Borneo. On inspecting the cargo, the Imperial Japanese Navy were delighted to find the 12 aircraft along with spares, manuals and ammunition and the aircraft were quickly assembled and pressed into service defending Balikpapan against Allied attacks. By the time Balikpapan was liberated in July 1945, only one Spitfire had survived.

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