In 2018 werd bekend, dat de Norwegian Spitfire Foundation de resten heeft verkregen van Spitfire IX PL258, die op 291244 een buiklanding bij Tubbergen moest maken. Doel van de foundation is, deze Spitfire te restaureren en in vliegwaardige conditie te brengen. De restauratie zal op Duxford plaats vinden bij de Aircraft Restoration Company (ARCo) /Historic Flying Ltd. Op 22 januari 2019 werd het vliegruig als G-NSFS in het CAA register ingeschreven.
History of Spitfire PL258
To 33 MU on 170644. To 331 Sq on 250744. Damaged on 080844 on collision with PL228 (flown by 2nd Lt E.T. Tjensvoll) during landing at Funtington. PL258 piloted by 2nd Lt E. Gunderson. PL258 sustained Cat.E damage. To 420 RSU for repair. Rejoined 331 Sq (...). 331 Sq, coded 'FN-K' On 291244 Fenrik (Ensign) Carl Jacob Stousland of 331 Sq made a belly landing in a field near Tubbergen, The Netherlands. At this time, the squadron operated out of base B.79 Woensdrecht (the unit had relocated from B.60 Grimbergen, Belgium on 221244). 331 Sq made an armed recce with 12 Spitfires in the Enschede area. After strafing vehicles west of Arnhem, five Fw 190s were seen and attacked. F/S Karl Faerder Haanes claimed two of these south-west of Osnabrück, while a single Fw 190 was then seen and claimed by Major Martin Gran and a fourth by 2nd Lt C.J. 'Jack' Stousland. Despite these successes, the Norwegians also lost heavily to the fast German fighters. Capt. J.K.B. (Björn) Raeder went down with the tail of his aircraft shot off, and was killed, while Sgt Vilhelm Nicolaysen baled out. 'Jack' Stousland and 2nd Lt Ole Tilset (in PT909/'FN-T') both also failed to return. Whilst positioning his Spitfire behind the Fw 190, Tilset collided with the underside of PL258. Tilset managed to parachute to safety and became a PoW, as did Nicolaysen, but Stousland found his canopy jammed and had no option but to land his machine. After the succesful landing he evaded capture and returned to his unit.
Remains of PL258 sourced from The Netherlands and shipped to the UK following a search by Norwegian journalist Cato Guhnfeldt and warbird pilot Lars Ness. PL258 was registered on 220119 as G-NSFS for the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation. Raw by ARCo at Duxford. Once airworthy PL258 will be transferred to the Norwegian register.
Sources Aeroplane Monthly 0319 p13 2nd Tactical Air Force, Volume II, C. Shores and C. Thomas, 2005, p252 and 370 'Zij kwamen bij dag en bij nacht', Martin Klaassen, 1990
Situatiefoto van het gebied op zo'n 4 kilometer ten noordnoordwesten van Tubbergen, waar de 2 Noorse Spitfires terecht kwamen. Foto: Google Earth.