Last of the Few

The Battle of Britain in the words of the pilots who won it

Hurricane Mk1 at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, Gloucestershire, England, 2008. (Adrian Pingstone)

Pilot Officer Frank Carey: 43 Squadron

There were six of us on this patrol. As we arrived, we could see planes stretched out in great lumps all the way from the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg. At the bottom, Ju 87 dive-bombers; above those, Me 109s in great big oval sweeps covering the distance; and above them Me 110s. The flight commander had told three of us to do the fighter protection at the back, and we got up into them. The situation was absolutely ludicrous—three of us to take on that mob! The others went straight into the dive-bombers. Within seconds we were split up all over the place. The only advantage was that it was a hundred to one against hitting your own side; you could fire at anything.

Pictured: Aircraft spotter in London during the Battle of Britain.


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