RAF Spitfire – “Mod. XXX” Beer-Carrying Spitfires

British breweries donated free beer to soldiers during World War II, but just after D-Day, there was no room made to ship it over the English Channel.

Spitfire mechanics and pilots worked together to modify pylons to carry either specially-modified drop tanks or beer casks to deliver brews to the troops.

Official missions were stopped when the UK Tax Office warned brewers they would get in trouble for exporting beer abroad without paying taxes, but pilots still found ways to get beer where it was needed…

The Spitfire Mk IX was an evolved version of the Spitfire, with pylons under the wings for bombs or tanks. It was discovered that the bomb pylons could also be modified to carry beer kegs.

According to pictures that can be found, various sizes of kegs were used. Whether the kegs could be jettisoned in case of emergency is unknown. If the Spitfire flew high enough, the cold air at altitude would even refresh the beer, making it ready for consumption upon arrival.


  1. The most famous “beer pilot” was probably the British ace Johnnie E Johnson. To his big disappointment he was ordered to stop doing it.

  2. when i was a kid i remember seeing a book about jej and it had a picture of the keg on a spit plus a lot of other great snaps.


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