Hero spitfire pilot Ken is honoured - The Solihull Observer

Hero spitfire pilot Ken is honoured

Solihull Editorial 18th Nov, 2016   0

HE IS one of the oldest living spitfire pilots who risked their lives in the First World War.

And now 98-year-old Ken Wilkinson has been honoured with a bench at Olton Library dedicated to him.

War hero Mr Wilkinson was just 22 when he completed his training and joined the 616 Squadron in 1940 under the command of legendary RAF ace Sir Douglas Bader.

Having avoided enemy fire in the thick of the war, he finished his flying career as a Flying Officer in 1945 after the Second World War.

Mr Wilkinson was invited to the unveiling of his bench on Armistice Day, where he, in the company of his daughter Penny Cooper and grandson Piers Cooper, was joined by Solihull Mayor and Mayoress Mike and Jenny Robinson, Squadron Leader Andy Millikin and Flight Lieutenant Antony Parkinson from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight who paid tribute to his flying career.

During the presentation Ken recounted his experiences flying the famous spitfire in the Battle of Britain saying: “I was in the company of some very famous people who were known to everyone in the country.

“The misfortune of war was with you all the time, it went with the job….I was most remarkably fortunate.”

Mayor Wilkinson added: “I was so pleased to have met Ken and it is a privilege to have been asked to unveil this bench in his honour.

“We were all truly fascinated by his war time memories flying the legendary Spitfire.

“We owe so much to him and his fellow pilots – they were all remarkably brave men.

“I believe this to be a very fitting way to celebrate his service and to show our admiration and respect.”


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