93-year-old WW2 hero achieves Biggin Hill spitfire dream
PUBLISHED: 17:21 28 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:21 28 September 2016
'Cheeky chap' Bill Kingman, 93, will fly in a T9 Spitfire thanks to a crowdsourcing campaign
A D-Day war veteran will go up in a spitfire from Biggin Hill airport thanks to £2,750 donated from the genorosity of others.
Bill Kingman, 93, from Cobham in Kent, will be taking off in a rare, two seater T9 Spitfire next Thursday from the famous Battle of Britain fighter bases after his friend started a crowdfunding campaign.
Mr Kingman, whose brother died fighting in France during the Second World War, was awarded the prestigious Legion d’Honneur medal by the French government for his part in the RAF throughout the Normany landings.
But in the past few months the 93-year-old’s health has deteriated, so friend Steve Montila sought to cheer him up by raising £2,750 for a once-in-a-lifetime flight.
“Bill is so proud of what he did in the war, he is always wearing his medals and up until this year he was all over the place and going to every pub in Cobham.
“He’s a real local character and a true English unseen hero. He was part of a generation that set us all free,” explains 59-year-old Steve Montila, a builder from Cobham.
He added: “He is a charming, lovable, cheeky chap known by all - young and old - who live in Cobham.”
Mr Kingman’s 20 minute flight will begin around 11am next Thursday, where he will fly over the famous RAF chapel of Biggin Hill and eventually land in his hometown of Cobham.
Over the course of the Second World War, fighters based at Biggin Hill claimed 1,400 enemy aircraft - at the cost of the lives of 453 Biggin Hill based aircrew.