Corgi AA39205 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa, P7308, 71 ‘Eagle’ Sqn, RAF North Weald 1941

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William R. Dunn was the first American ace of the Second World War. First flying Hurricanes with 71 Squadron, he shot down his first enemy machines in July 1941, before becoming an ace flying Spitfires with the same unit in August. It was while flying this machine that Dunn was forced to land at Hawkinge, in Kent, after sustaining injuries to his leg in combat over occupied France. After this, Dunn went on to lecture on air combat across various units in both Great Britain and the USA. He then joined the USAAF and flew combat missions again over occupied Europe, downing a Messerschmitt Bf110 in an unusual manner, with a salvo of 5 inch rockets. The Eagle Squadron was made up from American volunteers and proved to be a formidable fighting force. Equipped firstly with Hurricanes, the squadron then used Spitfire Mk.IIs until being upgraded to the RAF’s latest cannon equipped Spitfire Mk.Vb in late 1941. They were disbanded once America entered the war properly and its air arm arrived in England in 1942, with the Eagle Squadron and their machines being turned over the fledgling Eighth Air Force.

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