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70 Years on, Britain Remembers 'The Few'
Ken Wilkinson, a veteran of the Royal Air Force (RAF) poses for a photograph in London. Seventy years after the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill's daughter commemorated the pivotal air campaign Friday alongside surviving members of "the few," the Royal Air Force pilots who defied the odds to defend the country from German attack. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth.
LONDON (AP).- Vintage World War II fighter planes flew over London Friday to pay tribute to "the few" — pilots who defended the country from German attack during the Battle of Britain.

Between July and October 1940, Royal Air Force fighter squadrons battled German bombers that pounded Britain's cities and airfields as preparation for a planned invasion.

Friday marked the 70th anniversary of Prime Minister Winston Churchill's rousing House of Commons speech, in which he said of the air crews that "never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Phil Reed, director of the Churchill War Rooms museum, said the speech epitomized Churchill's "ability to capture in the most stirring way the spirit of a nation fighting for its existence."

Actor Robert Hardy read the speech at a ceremony attended by Churchill's daughter Lady Mary Soames, wartime singer Vera Lynn and Battle of Britain veterans, followed by a fly over of Spitfire and Hurricane fighters.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Vintage World War II Fighter Planes | Robert Hardy | London | Phil Reed |

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