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Telegraph Spitfire helps mark Battle of Britain's 75th anniversary

By David Young

Published 16/09/2015

Cameron Dillon (6), complete with flying gear, got a close-up look at the Spitfire
Cameron Dillon (6), complete with flying gear, got a close-up look at the Spitfire
A World War Two Spitfire sits in a street off Belfast’s Shankill Road yesterday
Prince Harry with Tom Neil after the 95-year-old ex-Wing Commander and Spitfire pilot took part in the Battle of Britain flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Britain, at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex

The Belfast Telegraph Spitfire returned home yesterday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain - and stood in silent testament to heroic Polish pilots as an anti-racism mural was unveiled.

The fighter is a full-size replica of one of the 17 Spitfires built during World War Two thanks to donations from our readers.

Two squadrons of crack Polish fighter pilots were stationed in Northern Ireland during the war - at RAF Ballyhalbert on the Ards peninsula.

The mural, funded by the Housing Executive and created by artist Ross Wilson, has been installed on the International Wall in Beverley Street, off the Shankill Road.

It's part of the 'Band Of Brothers' project highlighting the exploits of Polish airmen in the Battle Of Britain.

Polish Honorary Consul Jerome Mullan said: "This magnificent mural is extremely important, given the recent spate of attacks on Polish people in Belfast. People need to know more about the gallant Polish airmen and soldiers who served with such gallantry and distinction during the Second World War."

At yesterday's Battle of Britain commemoration in England, Prince Harry, who was celebrating his 31st birthday, gave up his seat in a Spitfire to allow RAF war hero Tom Neil (95) to fly in one once again.

A total of 33 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Bristol Blenheim bombers flew from Goodwood Aerodrome to mark the conflict's 75th anniversary.

And on Saturday in Newtownards, a Battle of Britain 75 event will take place at Ards Airfield. It includes a flypast by a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

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