During the Second World War, it was the job of mechanics like Jeff Brereton to keep RAF Hurricanes airworthy to take on the Luftwaffe. Jeff was clearly very good at it, because the aircraft he worked on is the only one used in the Battle of Britain that can still fly.
Today, man and machine were reunited – the first time the 99-year-old has seen his Hurricane since that famous battle 80 years ago.
She is the only surviving airworthy Hurricane to have flown in the Battle of Britain.
In the run up to Battle of Britain Day, this special reunion of plane and mechanic through the RAF Association has brought back many memories.
“It’s unbelievable really.” he said, “Because we got to know the sounds and it was such a sweet sound. Tell by the sound of the engine.”
19-year-old Flight Mechanic Jeff was based with 605 squadron at RAF Croydon during the Battle of Britain.
For three months and three weeks, allied air crews fought off German attacks on Britain’s ports, airfields and infrastructure.
Even after eight decades, Jeff can still find his way around the Hurricane’s engine.
And while the Battle of Britain was won in the air by the fighter pilots who became known as the few, Jeff is among the many unsung heroes on the ground to whom the nation also owes so much.