The Defender Returns; Spitfire BM597

A Talk by Dave Harvey, Polish Heritage Flight.

Supermarine Spitfire BM597 saw wartime service with both 315 & 317 Polish Squadrons operating from RAF Woodvale. It is believed that BM597 is the only airworthy Spitfire to still carry its wartime Polish markings. After the war having spent time as a Gate Guardian at various Royal Air Force stations, ‘597 was used for the master moulds for replica Spitfires for the 1969 Battle of Britain movie.

Today she flies as part of the Polish Heritage Flight which was formed on 11th November 2019 as part of the Historic Aircraft Collection based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. The project aims to bring to life the stories of the people that came to the ‘Island of last hope’ to take up the fight in The Battle of Britain and throughout the Second World War.

Today BM597 is flown by Dave Harvey who has 35 years’ service with the RAF, amassing over 7800 hours in the F4 Phantom, Tornado F3, Hawk and Tutor.

In this talk Dave will be looking at the local connections to this aircraft, its history, and the story behind the Polish Heritage Flight.


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