IF watching the Battle of Britain commemorative flypast from the ground was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it was nothing compared to how Private Nathan Forster and his co-pilots felt up in the air.
More than 30 historic planes thundered across the skies above the south coast yesterday afternoon, marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Prince Harry had been due to join the flypast, however his Spitfire became ‘unserviceable’ at the last moment. He gave up his seat so Pte Forster would not miss out.
Ex-serviceman Pte Forster, 27, is part of the Endeavour Fund, a charity set up by Prince Harry last year to help wounded ex-servicemen and women.
He now works at the Boultbee Flight Academy.
‘It was an amazing day,’ said Pte Forster after his flight.
‘It really was incredible. Harry gave up his seat so I could fly.’
Matt Jones is the director of the Boultbee Flight Academy.
He flew a Spitfire with veteran Tom Neil, 95, as his passenger.
‘It was the flight of my life,’ said Matt.
‘It was the greatest honour to fly with Tom and all the other aircraft.
‘It was a huge commemorative day.’
Pilot Andy Millikin, 41, flew the Mark 16 Spitfire.
‘It was just such a powerful serious of emotions,’ said Andy, who flew at the back of the first eight aircraft which took to the skies.
‘Not only was it the 75th anniversary, we also had a veteran join us in the formation.
‘To fly around the south coast was such a privilege.’