Whilst browsing the other day, my butterfly mind wandered to the History of that beautiful city of Winchester where I once lived, I remember the old bridge over a minor road on the outskirts of the town which was known locally as “Spitfire Bridge”.
Apparently on one sunny afternoon a Spitfire pilot flew under it on his way back to base, just for the hell of it, with only inches of space on either side of his wing tips.
The bridge is now part of the connecting road to the new M3 motorway.
Imagine my surprise on finding a well recorded item on this very subject, which completely disagreed.
The true story is that a member of the Canadian air force stationed at Odiham Hampshire, was in fact the pilot, talk in the pilots mess had long been about who would dare do the deed.
So on the 19th 0f Oct 1941 Pilot Officer, George Roberts, of 400 City of Toronto Squadron, returning to base after a visit to workshops in Eastleigh, having had his plane fitted with new exhaust clampers, thus on this beautiful sunny afternoon, why not just for the hell of it, fly under the bridge, so he did. His plane was slightly scratched on the wing tips, so the powers that be reprimanded him and he suffered one years loss of promotion.
Now once more history has it all wrong, the bridge should have been called Tomohawk bridge.
The pilot being punished for this is quite nonsense, surely the boost he gave to the moral of his Squadron should have been promotion on the spot.