Veteran who flew in Spitfire ‘looked 25 again’ at Battle of Britain Goodwood flypast

The son of a veteran who took to the skies in a Spitfire today said his father ‘looked 25 again’ as his plane took off.

Tuesday, 15th September 2015, 6:05 pm
The spitfires lined up. Picture: Sarah Standing (151575-5499) PPP-150915-130543001

Patrick Neil, 67, is the son of Tom Neil, the last surviving RAF ace from the Battle of Britain.

Patrick said he was incredibly proud of his 95-year-old father - and today’s flight fulfilled his mother’s last wish.

“A year ago my mother died and the two things she said to me were ‘keep him busy’ and ‘make sure the stories are out there’.

“Dad is merely a representative of his generation,” said Patrick.

“He didn’t want to get in the plane, it was only at the last minute he got in.

“But as he approached the plane, he was about ten yards away and it was like the dog that saw the rabbit - I couldn’t keep him out of it.

“When he was being taxied out, he looked 25 again.

“My father’s generation is remarkable - they don’t see themselves as special people.

“I think everybody is proud of him.”

Patrick said he accompanied his father to the final day of the Goodwood Revival on Sunday.

The pair were flown in by a private helicopter at the invitation of Lord March.

“The affection everyone showed my father was incredible.

“Prince Harry is an absolute dream. He gave ip his seat today so he could see them off and welcome them back.

“He even looked after my father’s walking stick.

“He sat next to my father at the banquet last night and they nattered and nattered.

“My father said it was like talking to family.

“Prince Harry is a delightful person, and made my dad feel totally comfortable.”

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