On 9th October 1943, Supermarine Spitfire BM144 PK-O crash-landed wheels-up near Bangor, Co. Down. The Mark V fighter plane was on a training flight in the hands of a Polish fighter pilot.
The plane experienced engine trouble on a training flight. The RAF had the plane written off after the accident. Polish Air Force pilot Flight Sergeant Kazimierz Lojek (P733144) of RAF 315 (City of Deblin) Squadron escaped with some injuries.
Spitfire BM144 had spent most of its time with Polish Squadrons in the Royal Air Force joining RAF 303 Squadron on 30th March 1942. First designated RF-D, the “Donald Duck” Spitfire was 1 of 3 planes flown by Polish Ace Commander Jan Zumbach. It later became RF-H (Halszka), the personal plane of Zygmunt Bieńkowski. Flying Officer Antoni “Toni” Głowacki also flew BM144 while based at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey, Lincolnshire. Zumbach scored at least 1 of his 12 victories in this plane.
On 1st June 1943, BM144 transferred to RAF 315 Squadron. During this time, it sustained category CA damage. This meant the squadron carried out repairs on site but the plane became used for instruction and training.