Spitfire ace who flew in his pyjamas on D-Day returns to the skies in the iconic plane - aged 96
AN RAF veteran has returned to the skies behind the controls of a Spitefire – 75 years after he flew one in his pyajamas on D-Day.
Former Squadron Leader Alan Frost, 96, said it was like returning to his ‘home away from home’ after getting back into the cockpit of the iconic fighter plane.
Boultbee Flight Academy, which donated the use of their renovated Spitefire, gave the fighter ace a set of pyjamas to commemorate the day - as a nod to his unusual D-Day flight uniform.
Alan, who was 21 when the Allies launched their liberation of Europe, said: ‘At dawn, before it was light, I got woken up – it was D-Day.
‘I got dressed into my flight gear, got in my plane, and was on my way to the beaches of Omaha and Utah, when I looked down and I suddenly realised I still had on my pyjamas.
‘I thought ‘I must be the only pilot out of the hundreds up here in his pyjamas.’’
Remembering D-Day, Alan said his first reaction on hearing the plan was ‘wanting to return home’ to his Mum.
He said: ‘I was a bit scared, but you had to get on with it.’
‘I’ll never forget flying over the Channel – I’ve never seen so many ships in my life.
‘You could have walked from England to France without getting your feet wet.
‘It was awful seeing the troops land – many of them didn’t even get to the sand, let alone the cliffs.’
Setting off from Solent Airport, Alan was able to fly around the Isle of Wight, with take-off and landing – and a 360 degree Victory roll – handled by an RAF pilot.
‘The Troopers’ – an afterschool club of pupils from Crofton Anne Dale Junior and Infant School– attended to hear the former pilot’s war stories and finish painting the Spitfire.
Pupil Pari Mistry, 6, said: ‘It’s been really exciting hearing Alan’s stories – I’d love to fly a Spitfire!’
Alan felt ‘extremely lucky’ to have been able to fly a ‘such a beautiful aircraft’ during the Second World War – and return to the cockpit many decades later.
He said: ‘It's an amazing feeling – it's like meeting an old friend again.’