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Hurricane tribute to the modest war hero

PUBLISHED: 16:50 21 July 2010 | UPDATED: 15:55 16 August 2010

The daughter of a pilot who fought in the Battle of Britain has revealed her pride at the unveiling of a gate guardian - a replica of a World War II fighter plane - in memory of her modest father.

The daughter of a pilot who fought in the Battle of Britain has revealed her pride at the unveiling of a gate guardian - a replica of a World War II fighter plane - in memory of her "modest" father.

New gate guardians at Biggin Hill airport were marked with a special service at its chapel and a Spitfire flypast on Sunday. Both the Spitfire and the Hurricane gate guardians at the entrance of the former RAF base are painted to represent the squadrons based at Biggin Hill in 1940 and also to commemorate a pilot from each.

The Hurricane replica is in honour of 32 Squadron, which flew from the airport to patrol northern France in the early stages of the Battle of Britain. The P2921 plane was flown by Pete Brothers during July and August 1940.

His eldest daughter, Wendy Wallington, 67, from Wiltshire, said: "It was a wonderful service, which my father would have thoroughly enjoyed. My sister and I are extremely proud of him and his achievements but to us he was simply our father.

"Most of his friends who fought in the war didn't talk about the war. It must have been in the last ten to 15 years that me and my sister learnt more about his war efforts as there has been a lot of interest in the Battle of Britain and he was chair of the Battle of Britain Society. He was incredibly modest."

The Spitfire represents 92 Squadron, which flew from Biggin Hill in September 1940. The K9998 plane was flown by Geoffrey Wellum, the youngest pilot in the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Mrs Wallington added: "The chapel is to honour those who didn't survive the war. And the gate guardians are honouring those who did. My father died in 2008. Geoffrey Wellum is very much alive.

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