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Battle of Britain

  • Squadron Leader Peter Townsend with RAF colleagues
    Squadron Leader Peter Townsend: A portrait

    The Battle of Britain created many distinguished flying careers and heroes of the day. Amongst this illustrious crew was Squadron Leader Peter Townsend.

  • WAAF personnel
    WAAF trio decorated for Battle of Britain bravery

    Three women were recognised for their courageous conduct in the aftermath of a deadly air raid during the Battle of Britain.

  • Arthur John Banham with RAF colleagues
    The lucky Arthur John Banham

    Arthur John Banham joined the RAF in 1935 and at the start of the Battle of Britain flew the Boulton Paul Defiant.

  • Air Commodore Alan Christopher 'Al' Deere
    The lucky Kiwi

    Air Commodore Alan Christopher 'Al' Deere was a New Zealand Spitfire pilot and one of the RAF's leading aces during World War Two.

  • Battle of Britain veteran Stan Hartill
    "We knew we were fighting for our lives"

    RAF veteran Stan Hartill joined 609 Squadron aged 19 and was looking after Spitfires at Middle Wallop for one week when the Battle of Britain broke out.

  • WAAF personnel
    The vital role women played in the Battle of Britain

    Codebreakers, codemakers, balloon barrage operators – the roles for women during the Second World War were as varied as they were vital.

  • Douglas Bader
    'Operation Leg' – a pilot unlike any other

    Douglas Bader was a Battle of Britain pilot unlike any other. Medically discharged against his will in 1932, the outbreak of the war was an opportunity for Bader to re-join the RAF and take back to the skies.

  • Flt Lt Eric 'James' Brindley Nicolson
    "Darling just got VC. Don't know why"

    With those simple words, telegraphed to his wife Muriel, Flight Lieutenant Eric "James" Nicolson downplayed the magnitude of his award.

  • Chain home radar station
    Radar: Britain's secret weapon

    German pilots attacking from France often flew straight into a swarm of British fighters, who seemingly were waiting for the attack and deprived the enemy of the element of surprise.

  • A battle in Britain skies
    The fight for air supremacy

    Germany's underestimation of the strength of the RAF's fleet of fighter planes proved to be key in fight for air supremacy during the Second World War.

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