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Youngest spitfire pilot of Britain Geoffrey Wellum dies

Members of the charity's staff and volunteers had been "much saddened by the news," the Trust's secretary Patrick Tootal said.


PTI United Kingdom
Updated: 20-07-2018 18:06 IST

Geoffrey Wellum, the youngest Spitfire pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain during the World War II, has died, a media report said today.

The 96-year-old veteran airman and former squadron leader who was just 18 when he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in August 1939 died at his Cornwall home, the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust announced.

Members of the charity's staff and volunteers had been "much saddened by the news," the Trust's secretary Patrick Tootal said.

"Only this week Sqn Ldr Wellum had been talking enthusiastically about attending the Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey on September 16," Tootal added.

One of the "Few", the decorated veteran airman was approaching his 97th birthday, 'Evening Standard' reported.

Being the youngest Spitfire, Wellum went on to serve with 92 Squadron and his first missions included the "dogfights" above London and the Home Counties for which the battle became known.

He was 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.

In his later life, he became a best-selling author after his memoir 'First Light' was published in 2002.

Wellum's death follows that of Wing Commander Tom 'Ginger' Neil last Wednesday.

The Battle of Britain - named by former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill before it even began - was the first major defeat for Germany in World War II.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

COUNTRY : United Kingdom

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