The last Spitfire pilot who served in the Siege of Malta has returned to the country.
Allan Scott from Wem is currently in the Mediterranean island to take part in ceremonies that will mark 75 years since it was awarded the George Cross for its heroic struggle against occupation from the German invasion in the Second World War.
He hopes to meet Prince Charles who will be in attendance today (Wednesday) as well as the President of Malta.
Ahead of his flight out to Malta on Monday – the first time he has returned to the island since 1942 – he said he was looking forward to it.
Speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire, the 96-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to it.
“I haven’t been back since then [in 1942], the last time I saw it it was flat.”
In 1940 Malta found itself at the centre of the battle for control of the Mediterranean, forcing the Allied powers to defend it which they did, but the island was targeted by Germany again in 1941. They almost succeeded before focusing on their efforts in Russia.
Looking back to the Siege of Malta, Mr Scott said: “We felt that we were stopping them [Germany] from getting air superiority which they wanted but they couldn’t if we were patrolling the skies. So we felt we did a very good job in holding them back.”
A key role for Mr Scott was to protect supply ships as they made their way to the island containing food and supplies.
Remembering when they arrived, he said: “The Maltese all lined the dockside and they were waving because it was their island and they were starving for months on end, as were we.
“I lost four stone between July and December because we had nothing to eat.”
Prior to his time in Malta, Allan was involved in the Battle of Britain, flying Spitfires from Biggin Hill in 1940 and 1941.
He recalled his experiences in the UK and in Malta in his book Born to Survive which was released in November 2013.
In October 2015 he returned to Biggin Hill and flew in a Spitfire for the first time in 65 years.
He has since flown regularly – although he has to use a two-seater for insurance purposes – and plans further flights on his return to the UK.
See full story in the Whitchurch Herald