Who flew Spitfire QJ-B / X4561?

spitpilotTrying to track down details on a particular Battle of Britain Spitfire, especially if a particular pilot was associated with it…

Aha! Found some clues on the 92 Squadron Spitfire with the ‘QJ-B’ code. Trying to figure out who flew it — especially if it was ever flown by Maurice ‘Tiny’ Kinder from New Zealand (see ‘Tiny Kinder gets his end blown off’).

QJ-B in flightAnyway, here’s an archival photo from 1940 but still no info on who might be flying it.  As I understand it, planes weren’t exclusively assigned to particular pilots, but many guys had their favorite mount they usually flew.

And a quick search on the tail# X4561 led to someone else who’s been looking for QJ-B.  Another modeler trying to match plane to pilot.  Found him in the Large Scale Planes Forum.
QJ-B in 1-48

His forum name is ‘geedubelyer’, and he’s a true master of the art.  Not only of modeling, but photography too.  For just a taste, the image to the right is not an actual WWII archival photo.  It’s one of his creations.  See more of his work here…

Then more googling led to another excellent forum, www.britmodeller.com with a thread specifically on QJ-B/X4561.  Now we’re getting somewhere…

In this thread ‘Miggers’ & ‘GoonerChris’ suggest possible pilots: Johnny Kent, Don Kingaby, Ronnie Fokes, Roy Mottram, Bob Holland, Sebastian Maitland-Thompson, Trevor Wade, Tommy Lund and Sam Saunders.

But here’s someone suggesting it was flown by famous Battle of Britain ace Squadron Leader R.R. Stanford-Tuck.  Hmmm, I hope so…  Back to Google… Ah, here’s another forum guy saying the same! Does that confirm it? (I should stop now…)

For sure Tuck commanded 92 Sqdn in Oct ’40, so that’s legit.  But hmmm… here’s the ‘official’ Stanford-Tuck website that shows planes he flew, but nothing on QJ-B…

spitfireWell, I guess there’s some basis for saying Tuck flew the plane, or possibly Tiny Kinder.  Either one could have conceivably flown it.  So there’s a story either way behind the QJ-B in the Ajax air museum.

Alternate solution: Change the decal to show a ‘K’ (would take some intricate work).  Then it could be the mount of Geoffrey Wellum.  OK, enough of the Brit-worthy OCD fit for now.

But if anyone has a definitive answer, I’d like to know…



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