Accident Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk VIII MD384, Friday 10 January 1947
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Date:Friday 10 January 1947
Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk VIII
Owner/operator:AFS RIAF
Registration: MD384
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RIAF Ambala, Ambala Cantt, Haryana -   India
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RIAF Ambala, Ambala Cantt, Haryana
Destination airport:RIAF Ambala, Haryana
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
MD384: Spitfire LF VIII, built by Vickers Armstrongs (Supermarine) at Chattis Hill with Merlin M66 engine. To 9MU RAF Cosford, Shropshire 11-3-44. To 222MU RAF North Luffenham 28-3-44 for packing and crating for shipment overseas. Shipped on the ss 'Shahzada' 8-4-44, arriving India 20-5-44. To 81 Squadron RAF in June 1944.

81 Squadron arrived at Alipore, India in December 1943, equipped with more modern Spitfire VIII, starting operations in January 1944, flying fighter and ground attack missions in support of the Second Battle of Arakan and the Battle of Imphal as part of the RAF Third Tactical Air Force. On 21-11-44, Spitfire MD384 collided on landing at Minneriya, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with Spitfire JG624 (also of 81 Squadron) resulting in slight damage to JG624's propellor but heavier damage to Spitfire MD384's starboard mainplane. Aircraft was declared Cat E, but repaired later, and returned to service. 81 Squadron had been withdrawn to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in August 1944 and disbanded there on 20-6-45

To AFS (Advanced Flying School), RIAF at RIAF Ambala, Ambala Cantt, Haryana, India later in 1945

Written off (damaged beyond repair) 10-1-47: Engine cut on approach due to failure of the central main journal of the crankshaft in the Merlin engine. The aircraft was on the final approach to RIAF Ambala and the engine failure was immediate. The pilot then opted to make an immediate 'engine out' belly-landing at RIAF Ambala. The airframe was severely damaged as it slid along the runway at RIAF Ambala at high speed before eventually coming to a halt. The pilot appears to have survived with only minor injuries.

Crew of Spitfire MD384
P/O (IND/3342) Vernon Aloysius Vaz, RIAF (pilot) - survived with minor injuries.

The above pilot survived this incident, was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant, but was killed on 13-1-53 in the crash of an RIAF DH Vampire FB 52 (see separate entry)

Damage assessed as Cat E 10-1-47. Not repaired, Struck Off Charge 30-1-47.


1. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946 to 1949 by Colin Cummings p.215
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft MA100-MZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain)


Revision history:

08-Sep-2023 12:22 Dr. John Smith Added
08-Sep-2023 12:23 Dr. John Smith Updated
08-Sep-2023 20:30 Nepa Updated

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