Our limited edition vintage aviation clothing undergo a special aging and weathering process that gives the look of being printed in a Quonset hut, faded by the tropical sun and flown fifty missions. Much like an old flight jacket, they will only become more comfortable, faded and treasured with each passing day and each passing flight.
Printed on very high quality garment dyed fabric, pre shrunk 6.1 ounce heavy weight cotton. Set in Sleeves. ¾ ribbed collar with double-needle top stitched neckline. Double needle stitched armhole, sleeve and waist hems. Taped neck shoulder to shoulder.
The RCAF Spitfire #ML380
The Spitfire was an aircraft which won the hearts of many during the Battle Of Britain, due to its graceful elliptical wings, sleek lines, and undeniable beauty. It was born from the blueprints of floatplanes designed by Reginald Mitchell of Supermarine Ltd. to compete for the coveted Schneider Trophy in the late 1920s. In answering a 1934 Air Ministry specification calling for a new high performance fighter, Mitchell answered with the designs of a heavily modified stressed skin aluminum structure, with a thin aerofoil that, in combination with a Merlin two-stage supercharger engine, gave it exceptional performance at high altitudes. By 1943 the Merlin was replaced by the 2,050 hp Griffon engine which boosted performance to 440 mph and 40,000 feet.
Although the Hurricane was credited with more kills, there were many more Hurricanes deployed at the time. Unquestionably, the Spitfire’s high-altitude performance and higher speed capabilities made it a formidable weapon. Its high speed also allowed the Spitfire to be very effective at intercepting German V-1 buzz bombs before they were able to reach their targets.
The Spitfire we are honoured to represent was flown by Wing Commander Lloyd “Chad” Chadburn of the Canadian fighter wing number 127 RCAF. His command included the 403, 421, and 416 Squadrons. His aircraft was painted with the RCAF roundel and the letters LVC which signified the Wing Commander’s initials. The white band painted on the tail of the aircraft indicated that it was a day fighter.
Wing Commander Chadburn was credited with over 14 enemy kills and two German E-Boats sunk, two damaged, as well as a destroyer damaged. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the French Croix de Guerre avec Palme and was made a Chevalier (Knight) in the French Legion of honour. At only 22 years of age, Chadburn was the youngest Wing Commander in the RCAF.
Ironically, Chadburn was turned down twice when he tried to enlist in the RCAF in 1939. In 1940 he was finally accepted as an Air Gunner. Shortly after, he was reassigned for pilot training.
During his service, one of Chad’s prime missions was to escort USAF B-26 Maurauders as they attacked coastal installations and enemy airfields. In 60 sorties escorting the USAF, only one Marauder was lost to enemy fighters. In recognition of the safe passage Chad provided to the bomber crews, the American crews nicknamed him “The Angel”.
On June 13th, 1944, on an operational sortie following D-Day, Chad was on patrol near the front lines near Caen, France. There are conflicting reports in regard to the exact position, but Lloyd Chadburn’s aircraft suffered a mid-air collision with another Spitfire and he was killed on impact. “The Angel” was 24 years of age.