List of legends

What are some of the most legendary Spitfire pilots of all time? Hours flown, airshows done, top scoring aces of theatre of war. Who knows best how to handle a Spitfire in the air? Who would you like to have as your wingman if you could choose? Here’s a list of  a few of them that might make the top list of the all-time greatest Spitfire pilots.

ALEX HENSHAW: Spitfire test pilot throughout the war. Flew 10% of all Spits produced, flew Broad Street in Birmingham below the rooftops.

Spitfire

Alex Henshaw. Crown.

JEFFREY QUILL: Also test pilot, but joined in flying combat missions as well. Working closely with Joe Smith developing the Spitfire further.

GEORGE ‘SCREWBALL’ BUERLING: 31 confirmed kills. The knight of Malta. Uncontrollable, but a natural born pilot and killer.

Buerling

Portrait of F/O G.F. Beurling (Screwball) Verdun, Quebec.

‘JOHNNIE’ JOHNSON: Top allied scorer. Wing Commander. At the forefront of the European air war from 1941 onwards.

Johnnie

Johnnie Johnson

LEIF LUNDSTEN: Over 300 Spitfires flown from Mk 1 to XIV as a test pilot as well as being operational almost non-stop between 1941 and 1944.

Leif

Leif Lundsten

RAY HANNA: Airshow legend. Anyone got more hours on a Spitfire than him? Flew MH434 for several decades non stop. RAF post-ww2 pilot and Red Arrows pilot as well.

Ray

Ray Hanna

ROBERT STANFORD TUCK: Albeit a short career, a naturally gifted fighter pilot and Spitfire expert.

Tuck

Stanford Tuck

JACK CHARLES: Of Biggin Hill fame. Shot down Biggin Hills 1000th German aircraft. Wing Commander.

Squadron Leader Edward ‘Jack’ Charles,

PIERRE CLOSTERMAN: French Spitfire expert. Also Biggin Hill fame. Also flew Hawker Tempests.

Pierre

Pierre Clostermann

JAN ZUMBACH: Polish Spitfire ace. Wing Commander. Became one of the first Allied pilots to engage in combat with a German Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Jan

Jan Zumbach

ROLF ARNE BERG: 2nd TAF Wing Commander. Flew more missions with the 2nd TAF than anyone. At the forefront of the Allied efforts since 1941 to 1945.

RAB

Rolf Arne Berg

JOHN ROMAIN: Modern time Spitfire expert with well over 100 hours on Spitfires of many different marks.

John Romain, Pilot and Chief Engineer at the Aircraft Restoration Company . IWM Duxford, Cambridge

More bios and photos to come of these legends on the next page.

 

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