World War Two Pilots
Some interesting facts (my half-term homework)
World War 2 was the first major war where fighter planes played a major part. Some battle were fought entirely in the air. The british Royal Air Force in the second world war would name their enemies 'bandits'. They were also woken up at 4am each morning to fly out around Britain. The first planes in world war 2 were sent out in the summer and autumn of 1940, a battle for national survival was waged in the skies over Britain. The German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, consisted of three Luftwaffe Air fleets spread in an arc from the Normandy peninsula to the south of Britain through northern France, Belgium, Holland to Denmark and Norway in the north. Between them they could master some 2800 aircraft, two thirds of them bombers. By the 1st of August little progress was being made by the Luftwaffe and so Hitler instructed his airforce, calling for the Luftwaffe to overpower the British Air Force with all the Forces at its command. The Luftwaffe lost nearly 1900 aircraft and more than 2500 air crew were killed. Over 300 pilots fought for fighter command during the Battle of Britain. The majority of them were British but pilots also came from other nations such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Ireland, Belgium, France, Poland and Chechoslovakia.
After the war most soldiers and fighter pilots felt guilty because of the friends and family they lost. One pilot lives on today!
Geoffrey Wellum, is the only surviving World War II spitfire pilot. His book, First Light, inspired me to choose this topic for my homework. He has signed my copy of the book.
Geoffrey is now in his mid 90's having joined the RAF in 1939, aged 17. His efforts during the war were legendary:
He was part of the Battle of Britain,
He flew nearly 100 escorts and fighter sweeps over occupied France,
He was a test-pilot on the Typhoon's.
Can you imagine what it would be like being a spitfire pilot at 17?
Can you imagine what it would have been like to be a pilot in the battle of Britain?
Can you think of interesting facts about World War II Pilots that I haven't covered here?