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Eagle Squadron

May 2024
1min read

Kudos to General Dynamics for restoring the B-24 Liberator (“Frontispiece,” July/August) and preserving an important part of our nation’s heritage.

Your photo moved me to offer you a look at another rare World War II aircraft, a Supermarine Spitfire photographed during Jaguar Cars’ July 16 Fiftieth Anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Britain, which was held in New York City.

Most Americans don’t realize it, but this British aircraft is also a part of our American heritage. Several American flyers donned the Royal Air Force blue to fly Spitfires against Hitler’s Luftwaffe before America entered the war. These American “Eagle Squadron” pilots downed seventy-one German airplanes (six Luftwaffe squadrons) in twenty months, earning twenty RAF decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Distinguished Service Order, and the Military Cross.

Unfortunately, the war took its toll on the original group of American pilots. About a third of them who flew for the RAF fighter squadrons were killed.

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