Pilot returns restored WW2 Spitfire to Greece

  • Watch the full report by ITV Meridian's John Ryall

A pilot has returned a Spitfire, once flown in World War Two, to its home in Greece.

It was sent to the UK in 2019, to be restored to flying condition, but its return was delayed by the pandemic.

Its flight was watched by the very pilot who flew it in the Mediterranean 74 years ago.

Battle of Britain 80: The iconic Spitfire

George Dunn was the pilot who flew the Spitfire in the Mediterranean 74 years ago during WW2 Credit: ITV Meridian

Pete Kynsey poured over aviation charts while planning his 1600 mile route to return.

Watching and questioning his every move, was former flight lieutenant George Dunn from Brighton. 

After piloting Bombers during World War Two, George was posted to Egypt to flight test and deliver a wide variety of aircraft, including the MJ755 plane.

George Dunn says when he walked through the hangar and saw the Spitfire being reassembled, he said to himself he may well have flown it.

He says: "Anyway when I checked on my logbook there it was MJ755".  

  • Former flight lieutenant, George Dunn:

The Greek Spitfire, as it's also known, was sent from Athens for restoration at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

It was funded by the Icarus Foundation, who wanted their static museum piece to be returned to flying condition.

Although completed last year, the pandemic delayed its return, but now restrictions have eased, Pete can fly the aircraft to Greece.

  • Pilot, Pete Kynsey:

It took Pete 3 days and 10 stops to fly through France and Italy to its final destination at the Hellenic Airforce Museum in Athens.

The MJ755 was escorted by its modern-day counterparts - two F16's from the Greek air force.

It landed safely at Decalia, 74 years after it first touched down on Greek soil.

British and Greek diplomats and the Icarus Foundation attended a formal welcome ceremony when the plane arrived.

The Spitfire took to the skies for its first display flight over Greece for 68 years, with hopes of many more to come.