Veteran flies Spitfire for first time since WWII

In 2013, at the age of 91 and 69 years after his last time in a Spitfire, Jimmy Taylor went to Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex to fly a Spitfire once again. It was the first time since his Spitfire crashed behind enemy lines during the Second World War.

Jimmy Taylor flew Spitfires with 16 Squadron as a photo reconnaissance pilot but in 1944 during a mission, his engine blew up, and he was forced to parachute out of his plane above Eastern Holland. He was eventually captured and imprisoned for the rest of the war.

“Oh, it is fantastic.” said the former Spitfire Pilot, “It’s a dream come true in a way, because the Spitfire is still an iconic aircraft and to get inside it, even when it doesn’t fly, is always special.”

He continues “It has a special smell about it, and you are feeling back at home and to actually fly in one is just out of this world.”.

Being slightly nervous before the flight Jimmy Tayor took off in one of only six two-seater Spitfires that are still flying. For 30 minutes he was up in the sky again, and he even got to fly the plane!

Naturally, a low flypast and a victory roll were performed by the 92-year-old pilot who, when back on the ground, called the flight “Super!”

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.