A rededication service was held on January 28 in Glenbrook, NSW, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of five RAAF members killed in a plane crash.
A Spitfire has been meticulously restored to its former glory in the United Kingdom and given the number ZP-W – a nod to Australia’s No 457 Squadron.
Quality Manager of The Spitfire Company, based at Biggin Hill airport in Kent, UK, Nigel Rockhill, contacted the RAAF History and Heritage Branch and requested to use the number.
“Our company restores, maintains and operates former military aircraft, specialising in the Supermarine Spitfire,” Mr Rockhill said.
“We sought permission to paint and restore a Spitfire to reflect No 457 Squadron, operated by the RAAF, and to be given the number ZP-W as flown by RAAF pilot Squadron Leader Bruce Watson.”
Director General History and Heritage Branch Air Commodore John Meier was quick to reply.
“The RAAF is very thankful The Spitfire Company chose No 457 Squadron as the subject for its restoration,” Air Commodore Meier said.
“After viewing the images supplied for the restoration I was happy to approve the paint work.”
No 457 Squadron was a WWII RAAF fighter squadron. Equipped with Supermarine Spitfire fighters, it was formed in England in June 1941 and transferred to Australia in June 1942. The squadron was involved in combat in the South West Pacific Area before being disbanded in November 1945.