Chelsea Pensioner, Jim Little's big Spitfire adventure
22nd October 2018
Chelsea Pensioner Jim Little completed a stomach-churning ride in a TR9 Spitfire, originally built in 1944, in memory of his brother who was an RAF spitfire pilot in the latter stages of the Second World War. Jim's brother was only 17 years of age when he joined up in 1941.
James said of his brother and the flight: "He survived the War but not the peace, and I wanted to make this flight in his memory. It was a fantastic experience - a little scary at first as the plane took some sharp turns straight after take-off, but it was really wonderful! We flew over my hometown of Ropley, Hampshire, which was special. I couldn't think of a better way to honour my brother's memory than to take a ride in an aircraft he would have flown during the War."
Jim had another brother who fought in WW2. He was a Royal Engineer and he parachuted into Normandy at Ranville with the 6th Airborne Division in the early hours of D-Day as part of the attack force for Pegasus Bridge and the German Battery at Merville. He was wounded 10 days later and was casevaced out, patched up at the QE Hospital in Birmingham and was sent back to join the Rhine Crossing assault.
Jim intends to make a parachute jump next year in his memory, demonstrating that you're never too old to try something new and daring!