When the formidable German FW 190 appeared over war torn European skies in August, 1941 it was a rude awakening to the British and Allied forces to discover that the early Mk V Spitfire was no match for this latest foe. The re-engined and more powerful Mk IX with a top speed of 408 mph and outstanding maneuverability was the countermeasure to the FW 190. The Mk IX saw continuous service with various air forces worldwide till war's end and well beyond. It is often considered among the best of all Spitfire variants and remains as one of aviation’s true classics.
Canadian Wing Commander, Johnnie Johnson, RCAF, an Allied ace flew the model depicted as well as many other spitfire variants in which he achieved 34 victories in some 700 operational sorties. In addition to his list of victories Johnson shared 7 more, plus 3 probables shared, 10 damaged, 3 shared damaged and 1 destroyed on the ground. His victories included 14 Me Bf 109s and 20 FW 190s making him the most successful RAF ace against the FW 190 and the highest scoring Western Allied fighter pilot against the German Luftwaffe. It is brutal talk, but this came from an era when it was kill…..or be killed. It is a history that must be remembered.