Dogsbody - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V


WW2 Aviation Art - Douglas Bader Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Va Art Print


Despite his success, Douglas Bader gained a reputation for being somewhat outdated, dogmatic and not trusting of new technology. Never was this better illustrated than in his refusal to fly an aircraft armed with 20mm cannon, despite the obvious advantages they bestowed in comparison with the .303” machine gun.


His Spitfire Mk.V, W3185, was therefore a rare beast indeed and one of very few Mk.Va armed with eight .303” machine guns to make it to front-line service. Now a wing leader at Tangmere and in charge of 145, 610 and 616 Squadrons, Bader took the opportunity to paint his personal initials onto his aircraft in accordance with the rank he had just achieved. His D-B initials gave rise to his famous callsign of “Dogsbody”.


In Charles J. Thompson’s aviation painting, Bader is seen returning to Tangmere after another sortie in the late evening, some time in 1941.  

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