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England Not Out
The squadron was formed in February 1936. On 8th December 1938 it was transferred to Fighter Command. It was not equipped with fighter aircraft until August 1939 when it received Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1s. In May 1940, the squadron flew sorties in support of Operation Dynamo - the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. One third of the squadron’s pilots were lost during a 3 day period.In the Battle of Britain, the squadron operated from Middle Wallop, with half the squadron operating from the forward base at Warmwell. During August 1940, the squadron destroyed 46 enemy aircraft but nearly all the pre-war auxiliary pilots were
609 Squadron Biggin Hill, Kent, 30 June 1941
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lost, either killed or missing. In October 1940, 609 became the first squadron to achieve 100 confirmed aerial victories.In February 1941, the squadron moved to Biggin Hill and went on to take part in many operations over France as the allied air forces went onto the offensive. The painting is taken from a photograph that shows pilots of 609 Squadron having a game of improvised cricket between offensive patrols over France in 1941. The Squadron at that time was equipped with the spitfire MKv. This Spitfire iwas a presentation machine named "The London Butcher." The most successful mount was Battle
of Britain ace Mickey Robinson who destroyed five Me-109s. Another ace of 609 Squadron was Sgt. Tommy Rigler known as affectionately as "Tubby" of his eight victories he destroyed three Me-109s in one day, prematurely bald he is seen here as the wicket keeper.