World

Ken Wilkinson, Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot, dies at 99

Ken Wilkinson, one of the last surviving Spitfire pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain, has died. He was 99.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust says Wilkinson died on Monday.

He was one of "The Few," pilots who took to the skies to defend Britain against German bombers as Adolf Hitler attacked in 1940 ahead of a planned invasion.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill later said that "never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Wilkinson told The Associated Press in 2010 that "we were cocky. Stupidly cocky, if you like. We just didn't envisage defeat."

Air Chief Marshal Stephen Hillier, head of the RAF, said Wednesday that Wilkinson "represented an extraordinary generation to whom we owe a great debt."