Battle of Britain spitfire pilot dies aged 99

A former spitfire pilot who once told the Duke of Cambridge a 'dirty story' and wore his wife's knickers around his neck has died, the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust has confirmed.

Ken Wilkinson, 99, was dubbed one of 'The Few' by Winston Churchill. 

The chartered surveyor, from Solihull, Birmingham, died on Monday.

Ken Wilkinson, 99, has died. The chartered surveyor was one of the last remaining Spitfire pilots

Ken Wilkinson, 99, has died. The chartered surveyor was one of the last remaining Spitfire pilots

He once revealed a dirty story to the Duke of Cambridge and told him off for not 'flying proper aeroplanes'

He once revealed a dirty story to the Duke of Cambridge and told him off for not 'flying proper aeroplanes'

The BBMT said in a statement that it had learned 'with great sadness' of Mr Wilkinson's death, describing him as a 'true gentleman who we shall miss dearly'.

Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, the son of an aircraft manufacturer found his love for flying while watching aircraft tests at Farnborough.

At the outbreak of war he was selected for the Royal Air Force and chosen to fly a Spitfire.

Assigned to 616 and 19 Squadrons in East Anglia, he was among the brave airmen whose role was to protect industrial targets in the Midlands from the Luftwaffe.

In a 2015 interview for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, he said: 'I didn't carry any lucky charms, but I did wear a pair of my wife's knickers around my neck.

'And I was one of the lucky ones. I saw friends fall out of the sky, aircraft go up in flames ... terrible things.'

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