Accident Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vc JG880, Wednesday 9 January 1946
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Date:Wednesday 9 January 1946
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vc
Owner/operator:1563 Met Flt RAF
Registration: JG880
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Benina (Cyrenaica) 12 miles east of Benghazi -   Libya
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:RAF Benina (Cyrenaica), near Benghazi, Libya
Destination airport:RAF Benina (Cyrenaica), near Benghazi, Libya
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
JG880: Spitfire Vc, built by CBAF (Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory) with Merlin M46 engine. To 6MU RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire 21-12-42. To 222MU RAF North Luffenham 15-1-43 for packing and crating for shipment overseas. Shipped on the SS 'Atlantic City' 20-1-43, arriving Takoradi, Gold Coast (now Ghana)11-3-43. To 33 Squadron RAF in Egypt in March 1943. To 601 (County of London) Squadron RAF in North Africa in April 1943. To Middle East 8-5-43. To 7 Squadron SAAF (South African Air Force) then 10 Sqn SAAF. To North African ASC (Aircraft Servicing Centre) 31-10-43. To 73 OTU at RAF Sheikh Othman, Aden by December 1943. Struck Off Charge 8-3-44, but brought back on charge 21-6-45, and issued to 1563 (Meteorological) Flight, RAF Benina (Cyrenaica), Libya.

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 9-1-46 when engine failed on takeoff and the aircraft crashed near Benina (Cyrenaica), Libya. At an altitude of 1,500 feet, during the initial climb-out after take-off, the engine sustained a major failure, and blue flames were seen coming from beneath the engine cowling. The pilot then initiated an immediate emergency landing back at RAF Benina, but crash landed short of the runway. The pilot seems to have survived uninjured.

Not repaired; struck off charge - for the second and final time - as Cat E(FA) 31-1-46.

1563 (Meteorological) Flight RAF was formed in North Africa around December 1942, operating a variety of fixed-wing aircraft on meteorological observation duties, disbanding in May 1946.

RAF Benina was located in the borough of Benina, 19 kilometres (12 miles) east of Benghazi, from which it takes its name. It was later rebuilt at Benina International Airport, the main airport to serve the area around Benghazi.


1. Halley, James (1999). Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents. Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946 to 1949 by Colin Cummings p.31
3. Royal Air Force Aircraft JA100-JZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)
4. "RAF Write-offs 1946": Air Britain Aeromilitaria 1979 p.93:
5. 1563 Meteorological Flight, RAF ORB for the period 1-12-1942 to 31-5-46: National Archives (PRO Kew) File AIR27/877/14:


Revision history:

29-Jul-2023 15:48 Dr. John Smith Added
29-Jul-2023 17:48 Nepa Updated
29-Jul-2023 21:26 Dr. John Smith Updated
18-Sep-2023 12:35 Dr. John Smith Updated

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