Letters September 22: Man behind the Spitfire forgotten by history
While shopping in Ilkley my wife and I came across two young Air Cadets collecting money for the Wings Appeal.
I put in some cash and asked one of the lads who was the designer of the Spitfire. He replied that he didn’t know.
I advised him that it was a man called RJ Mitchell and that he never received any of our highest honours for his work.
Not only did RJ Mitchell design the Spitfire he also designed the aircraft that won the Schneider Trophy outright for Britain in 1931.
The press and television have been celebrating the Battle of Britain over the last week and praising the brave few who fought in the battle, flying the remarkable Spitfire aircraft.
However, like the two air cadets, few people are aware of RJ Mitchell and his contribution.
Many have said that without the Spitfire the Battle of Britain would have been lost and the Nazi hordes would have invaded our country.
Yet for some unknown reason this man was never awarded one of our highest honours and was not mentioned in any form of the media during the Battle of Britain commemorations. Why not?
He deserves the thanks of the people of Great Britain for his genius.