Last of 'The Few'

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Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Back in the seventies I worked with a former Luftwaffe pilot. He had been shot down, imprisoned and stayed here after the war where he met and married an English girl. By coincidence I had also been to school with his son who had to put up with years of Hitler salutes in the playground.
I recently gave a presentation to my wife's family about her uncle who was killed after his B-24 crashed into the Pacific. It made me realize how fortunate I have things. I have immense respect and gratitude for those who served.

My old comprehensive school teacher was an ex-fighter pilot of WW2 (I don't know if he participated in the Battle of Britain though). I wish I'd asked him more questions.

As today is Battle of Britain day, it is worth remembering the sacrifice these boys made and the fact that only one of 'The Few' is still with us.
I had the privilege of knowing 3 Battle of Britain pilots when I was younger - all of them a credit to their generation.


If 6 Was 9
If these heros were still alive now, they'd probably ask 'What was the point?':sad:
The last chap I knew - Robbie R - said exactly the same thing to me about 15 years ago, although he added 'f******g' to the sentence. :sad:
He reckoned that the best plane he ever flew, during the war, was the Hawker Typhoon. He did lots of ground attack sorties post D Day.
He also had the misfortune to crash a reconnaissance Spitfire at a Mediterranean island air base in full view of the top brass who were visiting.
He had been so wound up to do a perfect landing in front of the VIP guests, that he forgot to put the undercarriage down properly and skidded to a halt with a folded prop.
I saw his flight log book. The entry signed off by his CO - in red - stated 'Gross incompetence'.
He was quite proud of that! :laugh:


Flouncing Nobber
And please don't forget those in more recent times who have worn their uniform for their country, particularly those who have been maimed or killed protecting our sovereign territory and our way of life.

Accy cyclist

Legendary Member
If these heroes were still alive now, they'd probably ask 'What was the point?':sad:
Lots say and think that! What was it all for,looking at how Britain has turned out. Still they didn't have a crystal ball and only knew what they were told,unlike people these days. That goes for both sets of pilots in the Battle of Britain,not just 'our lot'.
I seem to be in a minority: My Grandad on my fathers side worked on the railways and spent the war in the west Midlands, not an easy option when on the back of ammunition and coal trains and shunting in blackouts during air raids. My Grandfather on the other side, a lifelong pacifist, volunteered for a non combatant role and ended up in the police dog unit in Orkney.

As I'm now married to someone from Japan and living in Germany, I've often felt very grateful for this.


Über Member
My dad's brother was captured in Singapore and spent the war in a prisoner of war camp. He never spoke of it. I lived in Japan for many years and met veterans there too. Horrendous for all involved in any conflict.
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