The Laguna Spitfire Legacy
Laguna Spitfire Legacy is a not-for-profit project created to ensure a lasting recognition to the brave fighter pilots of WW2 with a particular attention on the Polish and International Pilots who supported the RAF throughout. They deliver this through the story of MKIIb Spitfire P8331 ‘Sumatra’, its restoration to flying condition and her pilots with a specific focus on CO 1 Polish Fighter Wing, Wing Commander Piotr Laguna it’s last and most important pilot.
Laguna Spitfire Legacy’s sole aim is to deliver this through interaction at organized events such as public open days, air shows and other such appropriate events across Europe encouraging history and education. This will take place in the form of a full-scale replica of P8331 RF-M Sumatra, and an exhibition of its history through information exhibits, recovered items of the aircraft and uniform displays. The public will be able to see, touch and experience was it was like to be a Spitfire pilot up close and understand the journey taken by her famous Polish and Canadian pilots.
The Battle of Britain was arguably the biggest turning point of WW2 for Great Britain and had the RAF not managed to suppress and hold back the German Luftwaffe, inevitably Great Britain would have fallen. To take this one step further, Britain had a big problem during this time: a lack of pilots and more specifically, experienced pilots.
The Polish were initially held back for language challenges until they were made operational in the August and flew the last 42 days (half of the period) of the BoB. During this time 303 Squadron became the highest scoring squadron with 126 enemy aircraft destroyed and the loss of 8 pilots. This was a remarkable feat, given their RAF counterparts shot down less and lost more pilots.