December 3, 2022

Mk IX : This was the urgent version to counter the Luftwaffe’s Fw 190 high altitude performance. A stop gap version to the definitive Mk VIII (which was the aircraft initially planned to counter the Fw 190 threat). It was essentially a quick lash up of the Merlin 61 with the Mk V airframe (first two prototypes- AB 196 and 197). An extra radiator was fitted underneath the port wing to house the intercooler and oil cooler finally giving a symmetrical appearance to the Spitfire. A twin 20 mm and twin 0.5in version also formed a small total of the 5,665 produced. The Mk IXs handed over to the RIAF were serialled in the MH, MJ, MK, and ML series. Sadly none of the Indian Mk IXs have survived today.

T Mk IX : After the second world war, Vickers Armstrong contracted with the RIAF to modify ten Mk IXs into two seat trainers by adding a rear, raised seat and moving the front cockpit forward by 13 ½ in. These were the only new build Spitfires received by the RIAF. The RIAF received the T Mk IXs from 11.48 to 9.49.

SpitTIXChakra.jpg (14752 bytes) Spitfire T Mk IX HS 534 (ex RAF MA 848) was the first of the batch of ten seen in the short lived Chakra markings before delivery.

All aircraft went to AFS (India), later SFTS at Ambala. The only other Air force to receive such aircraft was the Irish Air Corps. The original RAF serials and the IAF serials later applied are detailed below.

Table showing Serial numbers of T Mk IXs delivered to India

RAF Serial

Indian Serial

MA 848 HS 534
MH 432 HS 535
MJ 177 HS 536
MJ 276 HS 537
MJ 451 HS 538
MJ 518 HS 539
MK 172 HS 540
MK 176 HS 541
MK 298 HS 452
ML 417 HS 543

A pair of two seater Spitfire T MkIXs being serviced at Hakimpet. Pic Copyright : Jagan Pillarisetti

Only One T Mk IX has survived.

T Mk IX Survivors

ML 417 (originally a LF IXc clipped wing became HS 543) was the last T IX delivered. It was taken on Charge by the RAF on 28.4.44 and allotted to 443 RCAF Squadron based at Ford in Jun 42. Coded 21-T it saw action during D Day landings and by late Jun was based at St Croix-Sumer, Normandy. Claimed two FW 190 probables on 13 Jul and two Bf 109s on 19 Jul all over Roune. Claimed two 109s destroyed on 29 Sep and later passed through hands of 442, 401 and 441 Squadrons. Purchased by Vickers Armstrong on 31.10.46 for conversion to the trainer version. Delivered RIAF on 15.11.48, thisaircraft served with the AFS (India) till 1949 and then moved to Palam. It was sent to the IAF museum in 1967. It was sold to Senator Norman Gaar of Kansas City in 4.71 and flew after restoration as a single seater in the UK on 10.2.84. Sold/Shipped to US in January 2002 to Freidken Family. Based at Planes of Fame , Chino, CA.

The last of ten T Mk IX HS 543 (ex RAF ML417) seen at Overland park, Kansas in Nov 72. Today it is back in the USA after 25 years in the UK as a single seater registered N2TF
HS 543 as it appears today in its original Mk IX configuration as ML 417 in the markings of No 443 RCAF Squadron SpitML417n.jpg (16548 bytes)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: