RAF WWII Veterans Fly Alongside Spitfires

RAF veterans from World War Two have returned to the skies, flying alongside Spitfires that many once flew during the War.

RAF veterans from World War Two have returned to the skies, flying alongside Spitfires that many once flew during the War.

The event took place at Biggin Hill's Heritage Hangar, responsible for storing and maintaining 13 Spitfires, as well as a Hurricane. 

Today, ground crew and pilots who flew Lancaster bombers, Tempests and Spitfires in the Second World War were welcomed to the hangar for their Veterans Day as a 'thank you' for their service.

Veterans were taken up to the skies, flying side-by-side with the Spitfire. 

After landing, one veteran told Forces News it was "the experience of a lifetime".

One veteran even said he "nearly bought" a Spitfire for £2,000 in 1963 when the Belgium Air Force were selling them. 

He said he opted not to because he was worried he could "kill" himself flying the aircraft but added he has been kicking himself ever since.

Veteran David Mitchell, who served with 341 Alsace Squadron, said: "I always felt you sat on a Hurricane.  

"But you sat in a Spitfire - it's a bit like having a stall to eat your lunch or an armchair!

"It was a very comfortable airplane." 

Flying side-by-side with a Spitfire.
Flying side-by-side with a Spitfire.

Biggin Hill played a key role in the Battle of Britain and remembers its heritage by restoring planes which once called Biggin Hill 'home'. 

On Sunday, a Battle of Britain service will be held in London to commemorate its 78th anniversary.

Robin Brooks from Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar said: "It is important to keep them (Spitfires) flying for future generations to see the type of aircraft that their grandfathers, uncles flew.

"And also to keep these aircraft in the air because they are a British symbol.

"It was an all British aircraft and the actual story behind it - Reginald Mitchell - who actually designed the Spitfire - died before he actually saw what an incredible aircraft he had designed."  

"It is a magnificent aircraft and long may it continue to fly above the skies of Britain." 

Mr Brooks added: "We're privileged to have them (the pilots) here.

"It's our personal tribute to these guys who actually fought during the War so that we can have the freedom that we have today."

Veterans fly alongside Spitfire

The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely in the skies.

When the battle was over 544 RAF pilots and aircrew were dead.

Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, said:

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."