Spitfire over Southampton Water


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. hovering there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless falls of air… Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark, nor eagle flew – And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod The high, untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, R.C.A.F. (Magee was killed at the age of 19, (Dec 1941)while flying a Spitfire 2 two aircraft collided just below the cloud base at about 1,400 feet  over Roxholme Lincanshire).

While at Titchfield haven this afternoon the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin Engine encouraged me to look skyward as a Spitfire passed across the water and overhead.

spitfire soton water

Footnote re Black & White colours.

From 1938 until June 1940, half white half black; undersides colours on British fighters were for observation of friendly aircraft from the ground. There was no countrywide ground control radar. Radar only worked looking out to sea, or at higher altitudes. Tracking over the land, friendly or enemy, was undertaken by the Observer Air Corps. 


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