World War Two fighter pilots remembered in bronze statue memorial at Battle of Britain Museum

A bronze statue has been commissioned of seven of the fighter pilots who defeated the Luftwaffe, despite being utterly outnumbered. Credit: Battle of Britain Museum

A permanent memorial to brave airmen who fought in the skies over Kent during World War Two has been announced by the Battle of Britain Museum,  at Hawkinge near Folkestone.

A bronze statue has been commissioned of seven of the fighter pilots who defeated the Luftwaffe, despite being utterly outnumbered.

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Sarah Saunders:

Armed with courage and a few weeks of training, young airmen took to the skies from Hawkinge Airfield during World War two to fight the Battle of Britain.

Young men, like these seven fighter pilots of No 32 squadron whose image will now form a permanent memorial here.

  • Dave Brocklehurst- Chair and volunteer, Battle of Britain Museum

During the fight for supremacy of the skies, the British were heavily outnumbered as they took on the might of the Luftwaffe. Aircraft on both sides were raked with machine-gun bullets, often torn to shreds.

This photo was taken on 29th July 1940, just a couple of weeks into the campaign.

A bronze statue has been commissioned of these seven fighter pilots Credit: Battle of Britain

Less than one month later, one of the young men in it would have lot his life.

Keith Gilman, 19, died in the Battle of Britain Credit: Battle of Britain Museum

It's quite an unusual photo because out of the seven only one was Killed. Keith Gilman , who was only 19, a Dover born lad and he was lost about three miles off Dover, his home town.

Dave Brocklehurst, Battle of Britain Museum

The airmen will be cast in bronze by Spacer studio in Folkestone and unveiled next summer, hopefully by the descendants of these brave men.

  • Steve Melton, Sculptor

After this photo was taken, the Second world war would rage on for another 5 brutal years but The Few had won control of the skies and allowed their country to fight on to eventual victory.