The youngest spitfire pilot to see active service during the Battle of Britain has died.

Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum died at his home in Cornwall on Wednesday evening 18th July, 2018. He was 96.

Geoffrey Wellum was just 18 when in the summer of 1940 he was sent out to confront the might of Hitler's Luftwaffe in the skies above southern England.

As one of "the few" he took part in dogfights above London and the Home Counties. He went on to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and was promoted to Flight Commander with 65 Squadron and later led eight Spitfires from HMS Furious to relieve Malta.

Mr Wellum stayed on in the RAF until 1960 and went on to write a best-seller about his experiences in the war – his 2002 memoir 'First Light'.

The book was later adapted into a film for BBC television.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust revealed his death today and Mr Wellum was one of just eight surviving members.

Spitfire pilots - Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few
Spitfire pilots - Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

We say thanks not so much to ‘the Few’ as to ‘the Many’ who kept Britain safe and free in 1940 and foiled Operation Sealion.

If you want to learn more about the people who have especial reason to thank all these brave souls, those on the ‘Most Wanted’ list of Hitler’s Black Book, intended for immediate arrest on invasion.

[Read more here]

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