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One of the most attractive Spitfire restoration projects will become a focal point of the auction by Historics at Brooklands in February 2012.

The Spitfire in question is P8088, a Mk. IIa manufactured at the Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory, and donated in January 1941 by the Borough of Lambeth Spitfire Fund. This machine, carrying letters NK-K, an inscription “BOROUGH OF LAMBETH” together with a personal ‘Just Jake’ nose art of P/O Alec Lumsden, arguably ranked as one of the more colourful of the early Sptifires.
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It became popular with many young modellers of the 1960s when its markings were carried over to the mass-produced 1/72 Revell kit of the Spitfire. This model was since followed by many, including a recent 1/18th version made by 21st Century Models. Microsoft Combat simulator also has a version of NK-K which has been beautifully recreated for computer gaming.

The original aircraft was donated in January 1941 by the Borough of Lambeth Spitfire Fund. There was talk that it would be called the Lambeth Walk after the popular song of the same name but in the end, the more austere name ‘Borough of Lambeth’ was chosen.

P8088 was dispatched for service in February 1941, being taken on charge with 39 Maintenance Unit, Colerne on 1st March 1941 with serial number P8088. From Colerne, P8088 was delivered for active service on 21st March 1941 to No. 66 Squadron stationed in Exeter.

On the 9th April, 1941, the aircraft taken over by No. 118 Squadron at Ibsley where it was given the call sign NK-K. While stationed at Ibsley it was flown by the well known wartime pilot and civilian author P/O Alec Lumsden. It was Lumsden who attributed the nose art depicting Captain A.R.P Reilly-Ffoull (Really Foul), a character from the wartime cartoon strip ‘Just Jake’ and featuring ‘Jane’, a young lady who was forever losing items of her clothing. ‘Just Jake’ ran for 14 years in the Daily Mirror newspaper from 1938 and was drawn by Bernard Graddon.

It is also mentioned that on the 18th April, Lumsden added the name of his girlfriend, Bette, to the door of P8088. No red tape or time wasted back in those days! In Alec Lumsden’s Pilots Log Book, records indicate the exact dates when the nose art and the name Bette were added to the Spitfire. On 16th April 1941, The ‘Borough of Lambeth’ was painted and on the 17th April, he received a telegram from Bette saying “Good luck to Bette the Spitfire”.
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Telegram sent to P/O Alec Lumsden "Good Luck to Bette"
After its four month service with Ibsley, NK-K passed to another airfield, Middle Wallop, Stockbridge, Hampshire on 6th July 1941 and then onto 152 (Hyderabad) Squadron at Portreath, Cornwall three days later.  On the 27th August that same year, P8088 moved to 19 Squadron at Perranporth, Cornwall as part of an emergency detachment of Spitfires from Squadron 19 from Matlask, Norfolk. But later, on the 31st August, the engine failed on a night landing at Matlask, North Norfolk. It overshot, ran through a barbed wire fence and tipped onto its nose without injury to Pilot Officer N.D.O. Devereux.
Source: BBC News Website