TO mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of their unit, veteran members of the RAF's 610 (County of Chester) Squadron have built a replica of the Spitfire aircraft they operated for more than 12 years.
The replica is representative of the many Spitfires that 610 pilots flew during the Battle of Britain and carries the legendary DW code on the fuselage sides.
In the early part of the war 610 was based at Biggin Hill - the most famous Second World War fighter station.
Later in the war 610 was heavily involved in protecting the Home Counties by shooting down German V-1 flying bombs over the south coast of England.
In 1946 the squadron's Spitfires returned to their home station at Hooton Park, near Ellesmere Port.
It is intended to maintain the replica as a permanent memorial to the squadron and it will be taken to suitable venues from time to time for display to the public throughout the region.
This year also sees the
70th anniversary of the Spitfire itself.
Its first flight was in March 1936, just one month after the formation of 610 Squadron.
610 received its first Spitfires in 1939.
Among the many famous Second World War fighter pilots serving with the squadron, Johnnie Johnson was perhaps the most notable.
He was the highest scoring Allied fighter ace and led 610 Squadron in 1942/3.
Many of 610's Spitfire pilots remain members of the squadron association.