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GREEK NEWS

Historic Spitfire in Spectacular Thessaloniki Flyover on OXI Day

The aircraft, which was last seen slicing through Greek skies 68 years ago, flew in formation with a modern F-16 fighter from the 335 Tiger Squadron – the oldest PA Squadron formed when Greece was under German occupation in October 1941 at Akir Airport in Palestine.

The two fighters performed a joint passage through the skies in the introductory moments of the military parade.

The aircraft arrived in Greece from the UK, where it was fully restored and returned to flight-worthy condition, last May.

The MJ755 was one of 77 Spitfires presented to the then Hellenic Royal Airforce to help rebuild Greece’s fleet; it was delivered to Athens by RAF pilot George Dunn DFC on February 27, 1947.

In April of that year, it joined the 335th Royal Hellenic Pursuit Squadron in Sedes while from 1949 it was used as a training aircraft for military pilots in Tatoi.

In 1950, it was transferred to the State Aircraft Factory in Faliro, where it was converted to a photo-reconnaissance plane.

Its last flight was in 1953 before it was grounded and turned into an exhibit, first at the Tatoi air base and then in the courtyard of the War Museum in Athens.

It was transferred back to Tatoi in 1995 after the creation of the Air Force Museum; in 2018 it was sent to a special restoration facility at Biggin Hill Airport outside London for a complete retooling.

Greece had received its first Spitfire from the British in the Middle East at the end of 1943. Initially they equipped the 336 Interceptor Squadron and afterwards the 335 Interceptor Squadron.

After extensive military action over North Africa and Yugoslavia, the Greek Spitfires returned to Greece in October of 1944.

After they took part in the early battles of the Civil War, they were replaced in combat duties by new versions and, beginning in 1947, they were used for training in combat tactics in the Air Force Flight School.

The Spitfire is the most famous plane of World War Two. Its groundbreaking design and superior specifications gave the British a decisive advantage fighting the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. But early models were often cruelly exposed in head-to-head duels with the enemy.

The Spitfire, also called Supermarine Spitfire, was the most widely produced and strategically important British single-seat fighter of the war.

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