Our latest WWII aircraft represents the Spitfire MkI as flown by American Pilot Officer Philip Howard Zeke' Leckrone, with 616 Squadron, Kirton-on-Lindsey in September 1940. P/O P H Leckrone came from Salem, Illinois and prior to coming to Britain, he was already an experienced pilot at home, even owning his own plane. Upon arrival in Britain, he enlisted in the RAF and after training at 7 OTU Hawarden, he joined No. 616 Squadron at Kenley in September 1940. It is this period of his service that is now immortalised in our 1:72 scale model. Sadly, Zeke' Leckrone's story ended tragically. He had been posted to 71 Squadron at Church Fenton to join other American volunteers in the first Eagle' Squadron in October 1940. However, in January 1941, during a formation practice, his Hurricane V6636 collided with another aircraft. Although the other pilot survived, Leckrone did not. He is buried in Kirton-in-Lindsey cemetery and as a memorial to him, the airport in Salem is now named Salem-Leckrone, in commemoration of their local hero who was the first Eagle' Squadron's fatality. Decorated in the regular dark green/dark earth camouflage scheme, our Spitfire X4328 OJR, has a pale blue-green underside. The RAF roundels are red and blue on the upper wings, red, white and blue on the underside while the roundel has an additional yellow circle on the sides of the fuselage. The propeller spinner, blades, guns and tyres are all black. Additional detail sees the propeller blades finished in yellow, silvered wheels and wheel hubs and a rusty brown colour to the exhaust pipes.
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