Spitfire X4272 - oldest RAF frontline Spitfire?

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Nov 12, 2021
I've just discovered an entry in 501 (County of Gloucester) Sqn RAuxAF's operational record book saying that on 8th June 1944 Spitfire X4272 'J' scored a kill while being flown by F/L D.C. Fairbanks.

X4272 appears to have been originally delivered in August 1940 as a Spitfire Ia, judging by this website: Spitfire pilots and aircraft database - Spitfire X4272

Later converted to a B wing with 20mm cannon, apparently being upgraded in July 1943 with wing hardpoints for carrying bombs. Presumably at some point it was upgraded to full Mk.VB status for it to end up on charge with 501 Sqn, which was flying a mixed bag of Mk.VAs and VBs by June 1944 (along with W/C Don Kingaby and his personalised Mk.IX!)

Could this be a contender for the oldest airframe in frontline RAF squadron service during WWII?

I'd love to trace X4272's history - as far as I can tell it was still being flown by 501 in August 1944. Perhaps it made it to 1945 as a frontline airframe?

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