WWII Spitfire Returned to Australia from France. (Video)

The World War II spitfire was discovered on the River Orne, near Caen, in northern France. It was shot down on June 11th, 1944. The plane was discovered last year in November. The spitfire was shipped to Australia. After extensive restoration it will be on display at the Point Cook’s RAAF Museum, in Victoria Australia.

It is believed Flight Lieutenant Smith 27 years old, died when his plane landed upside down in the river; it is thought he may have drowned while still strapped into the cockpit. He married six months prior to his death which was just 5 days after the D-Day landings.

Flight Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith was laid to rest in the Commonwealth War Graves in Ranville, Normandy, France in April. He was buried with full Military Honours.

Point Cook’s RAAF Museum – Learn more about Lieutenant Smith at Global Defence.net.

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21 Responses to WWII Spitfire Returned to Australia from France. (Video)

  1. Lafemmeroar says:

    Thank you for sharing something new at least to me 🙂

  2. malc50 says:

    Thanks for that Mags. You keep updating my education with every blog posting. I didn’t realise the RAAF were involved in the invasion of France. It’s a wonder Curtin hadn’t brought them all back to support the war in the Pacific. Cheers, Mal.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Mal,
      The only Aussies left in the Mediterranean was in the airforce.
      From the Australian War Memorial:-
      By the end of 1942 the only Australians remaining in the Mediterranean theatre were airmen serving either with 3 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) or in the Royal Air Force (RAF).
      Even though this article doesn’t say too much about the RAAF, I thought it was an interesting read.

  3. Barb says:

    It’s important for heroes to come home. Thanks for sharing this interesting piece.

  4. travelrat says:

    In Belgium, they still occasionally find bodies from the FIRST World War! I hope Flt. Lt. Smith’s family will take some comfort from the fact that his body has been finally found and identified.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      That is amazing from the first World War, it is good though that these people are found, yes I think it does help the Family’s out a bit, a part of history that was a mystery for the Family’s, can now be filled in.

  5. What a restoration project! It’s good the pilot’s body was finally brought home. How difficult that must have been for his widow, never knowing what became of him…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Barbara,
      It is a huge project, a total rebuild.
      I agree about his widow, still I think it would of been a bit of a shock to get that phone call after so many years.

  6. I second Barbara’s comment. The first thing that went through my mind seeing the clip is what a miracle there is closure for the family. I can imagine there is nothing more difficult than to have someone declared Missing In Action.

    Now, if only someone can find Amelia Earhart.

  7. holessence says:

    What a tremendous undertaking. This is a spectacular post!

  8. dearrosie says:

    It’s quite a story that after all these years the plane would surface now… I was interested to see in the video that it’s going to take 9 months to get all the encrusted salt off.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi dearrosie,
      Yes it is going to take a vey long time to restore, even after all the soaking. I’m hoping down the tract to be able to do a post the finished product. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Flight-Lt Smith’s Spitfire returned to Australia. « The mind is an unexplored country.

  10. I thought that Amelia Earhart came down on or near a small, inhabited island, where she lived with the inhabitants and was eventually buried. They even have the wreck of her aeroplane. I saw a documentary about it in France. I was sure that it was she. Now I have doubts. Can anyone else confirm?

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Lady Marilyn,
      As far as I know to this day, she has not been found.
      From Wikipedia:-
      During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.
      It’s actually a very interesting read.

      • It might have been another aviatrix. I know that it was someone who had disappeared a long time before, and was famous. It was a fascinating documentary. Too bad that I can’t remember anything more about it. Except that she had landed on the beach, whoever she was.

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