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 Tony Bartley: 92 Squadron

We did five sorties a day. We never stopped—we just went. You went to your dispersal hut half an hour before dawn, but when the Tannoy [PA system] said scramble, you scrambled. You went up and you fought all day long until the sun went down. Whether it be three, four, five missions a day—you just fought and fought and fought. At the end of the day we got off the airfield, because they used to bomb us at night, so we would go down to the White Hart at Brasted and drink a lot of beer.

Pictured: An RAF sergeant assists pilot Chesley Peterson, Eagle Squadron, in securing his parachute before entering a Hawker Hurricane. 


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