Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
Compiled by Bill Hillman
FLASH. . . Editor and Webmaster: Bill Hillman:

November 2011 Edition

British pilots sprint toward waiting planes
after receiving a warning from coastal observation stations during the Battle of Britain.
The battle lasted, roughly, from July through October of 1940 -- some historians peg May, 1941,
as the real end of the Battle, when German Blitzkrieg attacks ceased
-- and was the first major campaign of any war to be waged entirely by airborne fighters.

The Few: Royal Air Force Planes in Formation
British planes patrol the skies above England.
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,"
Winston Churchill famously said of England's debt to the outnumbered RAF pilots who defeated the German Luftwaffe.
Ever since Churchill's speech, the pilots who defended Britain during those critical months
-- Britons, Poles, Czechs, Americans, Canadians, Aussies, and many others
-- have been known, simply and affectionately, as "The Few."

Above London
Two German Dornier 217s fly over the Silvertown area of London's Docklands
in this picture taken from a German bomber.
The famous West Ham greyhound track can be seen near the center of the photo.

Spitfire in Flight
A spitfire based at Acklington in the northeast of England
flies out over the sea on a mission, 1940.

Damaged Cathedral
A hole in the roof of St Paul's Cathedral, London, above the altar
after the cathedral was hit in a German bombing raid.
Debris from the roof is lying in front of the altar.

Laid Waste
An enormous area of debris in London after German bombing attacks during the Blitz.

Churchill's Bomb Tour
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on a tour of a bomb-damaged area of London.

Thanks, Yank: Red Tobin
First Officer Eugene "Red" Tobin sits in the cockpit of his Hurricane fighter.
A native of Los Angeles, Tobin was part of the famous Eagle Volunteer Air Squadron of
American pilots who joined the ranks of the Royal Air Force before the U.S. was officially in the war.
Tobin was killed in action in 1941, and buried in France. He was 24.

London After Heavy German Bombing

Thumbs Up!
A crowd of smiling faces greets Churchill during his tour of bomb-ravaged London.

Ablaze During the Blitz

Evacuating Children During the Blitz
Thousands of English children were sent to small towns
well outside the London city limits during the Battle of Britain,
as German bombers continued to relentlessly attack the city for months.

Cathedral Ruins
A man stands in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral after a German nighttime air raid destroyed the center of the city.

Messerschmitt Down
A soldier guards a German Messerschmitt, intercepted over the English Channel
and shot down by a Spitfire patrol.

Keith Gillman, Lost in Battle
Pilot Keith Gillman was 19 when he failed to return from
a combat flight over the Channel on August 25, 1940.
He was the first pilot from his squadron to be lost in the Battle of Britain.

Prayers in the US
The congregation at the Washington Cathedral prays
for the people of Great Britain during the Blitz.

Maintaining a Hurricane
A maintenance crew reloads a Hurricane fighter's wing machine guns
for its next engagment with the Luftwaffe.

Bombs Aweigh
A munitions store at a fighter station at the height of the Battle of Britain.

Safe On The Stairs
Londoners take shelter in the London Underground during an air-raid.

Thank You
A woman shakes the hand of one of her rescuers as she is carried away on a stretcher;
she had been trapped in wreckage for 13 hours
after a German bombing raid on London, October 17, 1940.

Bombing Mission
A bomber's gunner in his turret during practice at an RAF station.

Thumbs Up for German Debris
Britons inspect the wreckage of a German aircraft that came down on their farm.

A Welcome Cup
An RAF pilot, just returned from a mission, has a cup of tea after his debriefing.

A Welcome Cup
An RAF pilot, just returned from a mission, has a cup of tea after his debriefing.

Hurricane Returns to Base, July 1940

Messerschmitt Display
A Messerschmitt is paraded outside the Houses of Parliament, London,
after being shot down by Spitfire pilots.

Spitfire Pilots at Rest
Pilots of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force rest beside their Supermarine Spitfire fighters
on Hawkinge airfield during a rare lull in the Battle of Britain.

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