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Steve Riddy looks at Spitfire - Return To Flight By Brendon Deere

In the early hours of 25th April 2010 an Royal New Zealand Air force UH-1 Huey piloted by my friend Flight Lieutenant Hayden Madsen "Madz" to his mates, slammed into a hill north of Wellington NZ in cloudy conditions on their way to do the fly past for the dawn service for the ANZAC Day commemorations in the capital. Hayden and two other colleagues lost their lives that morning, but amazingly Sgt Stevin Creegan who I had also served with in the Navy managed to crawl from the wreckage severely injury but alive.

When I attended the military funeral for the airmen and as their coffins where nearing the final send off point, PV270 a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX performed a low level high speed pass as a final salute to the boys. I've seen spitfires and heard that very classic merlin sound before, but seeing those graceful lines and hearing the sound of that merlin that afternoon as it raced passed brought a tear to my eye.
The spitfire in question is PV270 which had been recently rebuild locally and has been painted to represent one of NZ Spitfire ace Alan Deere's Spitfire Mk.IX's that he flew during WWII. 
The spitfire was restored by Brendon Deere the nephew of  Alan Deere and the book he has written is split into seven parts that each cover, The people associated with the spitfire and its development, The long history of PV270 from when she was built at the Vickers Armstrong Castle Bromwich factory in Sep 44, to her service with 225 and 111 Sqn RAF in Italy, to being transferred to service with 5 Stormo AMI Aeronautica Militare Italiana the Italian Air force on to her service with the fledgling Israeli air force to her final home with the Union of Burma Air force in 1955, through to when she was rescued as a gate guard and eventually in 2001 finding its way to New Zealand. The Career of New Zealand Spitfire Ace Al Deere and the experiences of the pilots who flew the spitfire. There is also a very detailed restoration diary with loads of photos of the aircraft as it undergoes its restoration as well as a photographic view of Supermarine Spitfire PV270 in action.
The book as hard bound with 304 pages in A4 format with 372 colour and 121 black and white photos, illustrations, profiles and specially commissioned artwork. This book is a unique and detailed look at the first Supermarine Spitfire to be fully resorted in New Zealand and also to covers the career of a Kiwi battle of Britain pilot.
For me this book was a no brainier, seeing as I have been planning to build the new Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IX as Al Deere's Mk.IX EN568 for awhile now, I wanted to find out more about the legend that flew that aircraft and for me this book really has fulfilled what I wanted  to find out, it gives great incite into the man through his career from applying for the selection board to try to gain a place in the RAF, serving during the Battle Of Britain and through to his career with the RAF post war. The book is filled with pictures of service life, portraits and quotes from people,he knew and served with during his time with the RAF. It provides great photographic reference's as well as very good technical descriptions as to what that work it being carried out and why for the Mk.IX as it is being rebuild back to flying condition. The books also has a section of full page glossy photos of the Spitfire in action at various airshows and events throughout the country.
The cost of NZD$69.95 (31 GBP or USD$50) was more than worth it in my opinion for the amount of material that you get with the book, the cost of postage to the UK is NZD$34 or 15 GBP.
ISBN 978-0-473-16711-0
Some sample pages from the PV270 website.