The Spitfire "Evelyn"
Whatever became of her ?
Many of us aircraft nuts who grew up in South Africa were enarmoured by Evelyn, the only airworthy Spitfire, lovingly restored at the SAAF museum in Lanseria.
We were all distraught when she was subsequently sold to a foreign collector.
I recently did an online search, and discovered her whereabouts:
Spitfire HF. IXe MA793, painted as "Evelyn" SA in the 1980s
This aircraft was produced at Castle Bromwich and was delivered to 6 MU RAF on 21 July 1943. It was shipped to the Mediterranean on 5 August 1943 and was operated by the Mediterranean Allied AF till it was transferred to the USAAF on 31 October 1943. It was returned to the RAF in May 1944 and stored with 39 MU in the UK till it was sold to the South African AF on September 30, 1948, serialled 5601.
It is currently on display at the "TAM Asas de Um Sonho" Museum, located in Sao Carlos, Brazil. It is also the only airworthy Spitfire in South America. The aircraft was donated to the museum by Rolls-Royce and painted in the colours and markings of RAF ace Johnnie Johnson.
About the restoration:
The Spitfire "WR RR" or known locally in SA as Evelyn....is not the original aircraft Bob Rogers flew in WW II
This aeroplane, historical as it is, was merely painted to resemble his Spitfire. It was not his original Spitfire they restored from the scrap heap and painted as WR RR. Evelyn was named after his wife. His actual Spitfire WR RR; was a clipped wing Spitfire MK9E, which he flew as 40 Sq OC in Italy. Bob's aircraft is often depicted as the aircraft above in models and aviation paintings, but the historical truth is that his original aircraft was a clipped-wing MK9E.
Construction #: Unknown
Civil Registration: N930LB
Model: HF Mk. IXe
Name: None (Known as "Evelyn" In SA, Painted as above)
Only Spitfire existing known to have flown with USAAF.
Delivered to RAF as MA793, 19??.
- Assigned to 6 MU in July 1943.
Transferred to USAAF as MA793
- BOC: Oct. 31, 1943
- SOC: May 1944.
Delivered to South African Air Force 5601, Sept. 30, 1948.
Meerhof Hospital for Handicapped Children, Pretoria. Apr. 27, 1954-1967.
- Displayed in playground.
Larry Barnett & Alan Lurie, Johannesburg, 1967-1986.
- Rebuilt to flying condition.
- First flight Aug. 29, 1975, Johannesburg-Jan Smuts.
- Flown as SAAF PT672/WR-RR.
- Loaned to SAAF, Lanseria AB, 1976-1986.
Larry Barnett International California, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, July 14, 1986-1999.
- Shipped to Chino, CA, first flight Jan. 1, 1987.
- Operated by David G. Price/Museum Of Flying, Santa Monica, CA Aug. 1986-1999.
-- Flown as RAF/EN398/JE-J
Rolls Royce PLC, Filton, UK, 1999.
Transportes Aereos Regional- TAM/Wings Of Dreams Museum, Sao Carlos, Brazil, 1999-2002.
- Shipped to Brazil from Camarillo, CA, Jan. 2000.
- First flight, Jundai, Brazil, May 3, 2002.
- Flown as EN398-JE-J.