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Spitfire flypast for Battle of Britain heroes

Spitfire flypast at Lancing College

Spitfire flypast at Lancing College

FIVE airmen whose bravery and skill helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940 were honoured with a Spitfire flypast at Lancing College on Saturday.

The event commemorated five pilots who were pupils at Lancing College, and who played a major role in protecting Britain from a Nazi invasion.

Spitfire test pilot Flying Officer Jeffrey Quill, Squadron Leaders John Sample, Jefferson Wedgwood and Robert Woodward, and Air Vice Marshal Stanley Vincent were those who were honoured at the event.

A commemoration service conducted by Fr Richard Harrison was followed by the Spitfire flypast and the unveiling of the memorial plaque in the War Memorial Cloister.

The most celebrated of the five was Jeffrey Quill, who joined the RAF straight from Lancing College in 1931 and was flying solo after just five hours’ instruction.

He became chief test pilot at Vickers Supermarine, and fought as a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain, which helped him to make design improvements to the Spitfire.

In 1943, Quill undertook countless deck landings onto aircraft carriers, enabling him to recommend design modifications to Sea Spitfires, or Seafires, and the training of their pilots.

Quill was awarded the AFC in 1936, made an OBE in 1942 and elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1980.

Managing Director of the Battle of Britain Historical Society John Pulfer attended.

 

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