Honour for Battle of Britain's youngest Spitfire pilot: Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Wellum

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by nicks, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member Patron

    BBC News - Honour for Battle of Britain's youngest Spitfire pilot

    Honour for Battle of Britain's youngest Spitfire pilot

    The youngest Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of London.
    Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Wellum joined the RAF on a short-service commission in August 1939 at the age of 18.
    He served with 92 Squadron, taking part in "dogfights" with German planes when Battle of Britain began. He was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Mr Wellum, now 90, said it was "probably the greatest air battle of all time".
    'Ultimate sacrifice' The Battle of Britain began on 10 July 1940 and ended on 31 October when the German Luftwaffe was pushed back, preventing an invasion of Britain.
    Mr Wellum, who was born in Walthamstow but now lives in Mullion in Cornwall, said of the award: "I accept it most humbly, not only for myself, but also to represent all those who flew and fought in what was probably the greatest air battle of all time, the Battle of Britain.
    "Many paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could be here today to remember all those currently serving in our armed forces in the cause of freedom."
    The veteran, who was promoted to Flight Commander, left the RAF in 1961 and worked in a firm of commodity brokers in the City.
    His memoirs, First Light, were recently adapted for a one-off drama for BBC television.
    The Freedom of the City is offered by the City of London Corporation to celebrate a significant achievement or to pay tribute to an outstanding contribution to London life.
    Mr Wellum was given the award in the Guildhall.
     
  2. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member

    Well done, Geoffrey!

    Roxy
     
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Just read his book. Brave guy, so young.
     
  5. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Well done!

    Quite easy to forget just how young many of these lads were.
     
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  7. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    This heatwave is really taking its toll. Very sad news, Geoff Wellum was a wonderful man and his book is an absolute classic.
     
  8. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Harry Ree, Tricky Dicky and Tony56 like this.
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    'First Light' is an exceptional book

    :poppy: RIP Geoffrey Wellum :poppy:

    TD
     
  10. kopite

    kopite Member

    Very sad indeed. "First Light" is the best book I've read by a Battle of Britain pilot.
     
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  11. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Senior Member

    I had the pleasure and honour of meeting Geoffrey Wellum at a Duxford airshow a number of years ago. He was there with three other RAF veterans signing books, and although he didn't have a book to sign, my then young son managed to get all their signatures on a scrap of paper.

    Mr Wellum was a true gentleman and my son came away from the moment with a smile from ear to ear!

    RIP Mr Wellum :poppy:
     
    kopite, 4jonboy and Tricky Dicky like this.
  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Just read the news whilst away on holiday.
    :poppy: RIP Geoffrey Wellum.:poppy:
     
  13. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    :poppy:Geoffrey Wellum RIP :poppy:

    Paul
     
  14. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    I'm sure that this is not new to some, but just in case:

     

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