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Summary: Amateur film shot by Dick Labrum while serving with the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (HKAAF) Film Unit, featuring the final flight of four Supermarine Spitfires of the HKAAF, including Spitfire F.24 VN485, now on display at the Imperial War Museum's Duxford site in Cambridgeshire.
Description: "The Spitfire Mk1 first flew on 5 March 1936. Nineteen years later on the occasion of the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1955, four Spitfires of the Hong Kong Auxilliary Air Force flew past His Excellency The Governor Sir Alexander Grantham G.C.M.G. marking the end of their service with British Forces." Preparations are made for the four Spitfires to display. The pilots dressing in the crew room. Fuelling Spitfires on the airfield apron. A list of the aircraft appearing in the flypast is displayed on a blackboard, including Austers, Harvards and the Spitfires. Pre-flight checks are performed and the four Spitfires prepare for take off. The Spitfires taxi out and take off one by one [Aircraft are: two PR.Mk.19 models PS852 and PS854, and two F.24 VN318 and VN485]. Aerial views of the Spitfires in the air and flying over land. Ground views of the Spitfires, Austers and Harvards appearing at the ceremony, witnessed by Sir Alexander. Air-to-air views of the Spitfires, during which one of the Spitfire lowers and then raises its undercarriage. Scenes inside Air Traffic Control. One by one the Spitfires return to the airfield. The film ends with VN485 being towed into a hangar and the hangar doors then closed, signifying the end of the Spitfire's flying career.
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 350ft (ca); Running time: 10 mins
Notes: Summary: The Spitfire pilots are only identified by surname in this film: Rowe-Evans, Cairns, Heard and Strange. Rowe-Evans and Cairns have been identified as Flight Lieutenant Adrian Rowe-Evans and Air Vice Marshal Geoffrey Cairns.