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A Wing and a Prayer

All now in their 90s, Battle of Britain fighter pilots recall the summer of 1940. Presented by Misha Glenny.

Fighter pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain, all in their 90s, recall the daily reality of the summer of 1940 when they formed the country's last defence against Nazi invasion. Presented by Misha Glenny, their interviews provide matter-of-fact accounts of how flashes of extraordinary bravery interspersed daily routines.

Speaking in the twilight of their lives, the interviewees talk with the benefit of a lifetime of reflection on the events of the War. They come across as courageous, but also as bold independent spirits - as they had to be, fighting alone in the sky, frequently defying orders just to survive.

The programme is recorded at The Wing, a new heritage memorial centre on the white cliffs above Folkestone, which is officially opened on Thursday 26th March. The new building is constructed in the shape of a Spitfire wing and aims to explain for future generations the airborne battle which dominated the skies 75 years ago. The Wing is not a museum, since it has few exhibits, but it does bring the Battle of Britain to life in a uniquely 21st century style. This programme provides the first public glimpse of what is inside.

Producer: Penny Wrout
A LandSky production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Mon 13 Jul 2015 05:00


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