Peter’s Spitfire fills gap in PD history

21 Feb

Tucked in among all the Sunderland flying boats at RAF Pembroke Dock during the height of the Second World War was a very rare bird – a Spitfire floatplane.

A unique photograph shows the Spitfire floatplane – one of only a handful built – by one of the two hangars which still dominate the Pembroke Dock waterfront today.

The special connection between Pembroke Dock and the famous Spitfire has been remembered thanks to model maker Peter Mitchell. He has created a large scale model of the actual Spitfire seen at ‘PD’ in 1943, serial number EP751.

Peter, a volunteer at the Pembroke Dock Flying Boat Centre and a member of the Penfro Model Group, unveiled his masterpiece model at the Centre recently. It will go on display at the centre, alongside other models he has made in recent years.

Said Peter: “This has been a long term project and has taken hundreds of hours to complete. It all started when the Sunderland Trust’s John Evans showed me the photograph of the floatplane. I made a 1:72 scale model immediately but set myself a challenge to create a large model and bought a 1:24 scale kit. The model has a wingspan of around 28 inches.”

The Spitfire is one of a number of model projects Peter has worked on recently. During the year he made a diorama of Swordfish floatplanes alongside one of the old Royal Dockyard slipways and this, too, will be displayed by the Sunderland Trust in the future.

“The Swordfish floatplane was another very rare type,” added Peter, “and was seen at RAF Pembroke Dock in 1940 and 1941 when operated by a Royal Navy unit. I have made three models of the floatplane version, all in 1:24 scale. Recently photographs have come to hand of Swordfish at PD and I have based my models on these. The Swordfish and Spitfire floatplanes are further untold chapters in Pembroke Dock’s remarkable aviation history.”