On June 7, 1944, D-Day +1, the Spitfires of 443 Squadron RCAF were tasked with four beachhead cover patrols.
On the third mission of the day, Spitfire Mk.IX MK356, ’21-V’ was flown by its regular pilot, Flying Officer Gordon Ockenden RCAF. The patrol was uneventful until nearing the time to leave, when the Spitfire pilots spotted four Luftwaffe Bf 109s east of Caen. Ockenden in MK356, in company with the Spitfire of Flight Lieutenant Hugh Russell, chased one of the Bf 109s out over the sea. The German fighter exploded in mid-air under the onslaught of their combined cannon and machine gun fire. Unsure which one of them had delivered the coup de grace, they claimed half a kill each. This was the first of an eventual total of four combat kills plus one ‘damaged’ for Ockenden, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in December 1944. Spitfire MK356 today flies with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Special edition super-wide print. All prints are 101.6 x 58.4cm (40 x 23 inches) in size.