The Burbage Spitfire - X4668

The people of Hinckley and District paid for the Burbage Spitfire, that was one of a series of Spitfires named after villages in the area. The plane went into service on 18th may 1941.

The Burbage Spitfire had a busy life carrying out offensive and defensive sweeps over France, as many as five times daily. As well as those duties, it was also flown in convoy and base patrols, acting as escort to Blenheim and Stirling Bombers with various tests to discover airworthiness, efficiency of guns and the effects of weather conditions.

However, the Burbage Spitfire like so many planes was not destined for a long life. The fate of X4668 was fatally liked to that of the famous pilot Mungo (James) Park. On the 27th of June 1941, Park relived the pilot of the Spitfire for an offensive sweep over France. After refuelling at Biggin Hill, the squadron took off at 8.50pm and later that night over St Omer, Park and the Burbage Spitfire disappeared without trace.

Research in recent years has produced photos of the wrecked Spitfire, which came to ground in the Belgium town of De Panne north of Dunkirk. Park was buried in the cemetery at Adinkerke. Belgium.

On 9th July 1941, Sqd.Ldr. John Colin Park was posthumously awarded a bar to his DFC.