I think the best photos of my father (Flt Lt Reg Porritt) are the ones where he is standing by and flying his Spitfire Mk IX (I believe) over Florence. He liked the "RGY" designation, regarding it as a personalised numberplate ("Reggie").
Dad also recalled being the sports officer during the time in Florence and that the squadron defeated a local football team 2-1. He had fond, if discreetly unspecific memories of a nightclub in Florence called 'La Lucciola'. When I visited the city about twenty-five years ago he sent me in search of it. I found the hotel in whose basement it had been and an aged concierge who remembered it but the club itself was long gone. Fragments rather than anecdotes at this distance I'm afraid.
I've also attached some more group photos in case others are identifiable in them.
View a summary of Flight Lieutenant Reginald S Porritt’s Service Here: (opens in a new window)
Read about Reg Porritt’s visit to the War Graves Cemetery in Florence in May 2005 here:
He always had proud memories of his time with 208, especially the time in Italy in the latter stages of the Second World War. He returned there about fifteen years ago to visit the graves of some of his colleagues in a cemetery just outside Florence. He always said little about the reality of combat and focused on happier stories from his time there. He recalled the squadron adopting a young bull as a mascot. The animal was christened Ferdy (Ferdinand) and was probably with them during the long winter of 1944 in Florence and Bologna (not sure about that).