A Spitfire has recently been recovered from a mountain side in Norway which was traced back to Vincents Garage secret factory in Reading which is featured in our film Secret Spitfires Director’s Cut. This is one of the special Photographic Reconnaissance Spitfire AA810 especially built to fly deep into enemy territory, mostly unarmed and devoid of protection of any sort. These men photographed the movements of enemy supplies, men, ships and planes to gain the vital intelligence for Allied Commanders to plot the strategy of the war.
Due to our film which has broken the news of all the secret Spitfire factories, the company involved invited us to their facilities to see this great find. They very much wanted to meet our historian and Spitfire engineer Norman Parker who was as excited as they were about this find. It was such a pleasure to meet Tony along with the engineers and see the incredible facilities where numerous Spitfires were being restored and rebuilt. It is very rare for our Norman to be so impressed, he was so pleased to be there and meet everyone. They were fascinated by Norman who told them many first hand stories from the war and the procedures they had to do under very difficult conditions which included many shortcuts they had to invent and employ to keep the Spitfires flying.
The highlight of the day was to see the Spitfire AA810 which is in many pieces and shortly about to go into full restoration using as many of the original parts as possible. The facilities specialise in restoring original parts, engines to present day standards to help keep these aeroplanes safe to fly for many years to come. This Spitfire was being flown by Ft Lt Alastair “Sandy” Gunn who was attacked by a pair of ME109s and shot down in Norway but survived the crash. He was taken prisoner and taken to StalagLuft III where he became part of the Great Escape. Details of the story can be found on the website for Spitfire AA810. The restoration is in honour of all the Reconnaissance Pilots.