Historic NT Spitfire to be preserved

A World War II Spitfire, similar to above, that crashed in NT has been handed over to the government

A World War II Spitfire, that crashed in remote bushland in the Northern Territory in 1943, has been handed over to the Territory government for preservation.

The wreck of the plane was spotted in Litchfield National Park in 2016, 73 years after it came down.

The pilot, Flight Sergeant Colin Duncan, survived the crash after bailing out.

The plane has now been gifted to the NT government by the RAAF, the handover coinciding with the 76th anniversary of the last Japanese bombing raid over Australia's Top End.

Tourism Minister Lauren Moss said the unexpected discovery of the Spitfire A58-2 would help maintain the Territory's connection to what was a tumultuous time.

"The Top End was Australia's frontline during the war and suffered severe damage during almost 18 months of air attacks," she said.

"This is something of an unknown history for many Australians, and the Territory government is proud to be able to preserve this wreck so future generations can maintain a connection with our past."

Sgt Duncan's grandson, Duncan Williams, said his family was very proud of the role his grandfather played during the war.

"The story of his bailout is an exceptional one of bravery, luck and persistence under extremely challenging circumstances," Mr Williams said.

"Our family is shaped by who he was and, while this episode by no means defined him, it was a big part of the vibrant tapestry of his life and perhaps inspired him to reach greater heights."