Bat­tle of Bri­tain Spit­fire pi­lot dies at 99

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

LON­DON — Ken Wilkin­son, one of the last sur­vivors of “The Few’’ — the band of pilots who flew in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain — has died. He was 99.

The Bat­tle of Bri­tain Memo­rial Trust said Wilkin­son died Mon­day. The group said he was “a true gen­tle­man who we shall miss dearly.’’

Born in 1918, Wilkin­son flew a Spit­fire fighter plane dur­ing the 1940 air bat­tle between Bri­tain and its al­lies and Nazi Ger­many.

Between July and Oc­to­ber, Ger­man bombers pounded Bri­tain’s ports, air­fields and cities in a bid to de­stroy its de­fences in preparation for ei­ther an in­va­sion or a sur­ren­der. France had al­ready fallen to Adolf Hitler, and the Bri­tish army had been evac­u­ated in dis­ar­ray from Dunkirk.

Royal Air Force crews, many in their teens or 20s, in­flicted heavy losses on the Ger­mans and pre­vented in­va­sion, but at a high price. Of al­most 3,000 Bri­tish and Al­lied air­men who flew in the bat­tle, more than 544 were killed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.