Rasen corporal joins in anniversary flypast

Pilots Alan Robinson, left, and Nathan Forster with Prince Harry as they walk past Spitfires at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex, prior to taking part in a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Britain. EMN-150921-103506001
Pilots Alan Robinson, left, and Nathan Forster with Prince Harry as they walk past Spitfires at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex, prior to taking part in a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Britain. EMN-150921-103506001
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An injured serviceman from Market Rasen has taken to the skies in a Spitfire as part of a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Corporal Alan Robinson, an RAF aircraft technician, is one of just two injured personnel chosen to fly solo in the iconic plane to pay homage to the military milestone.

The Spitfire Scholarship – which supports wounded, injured and sick members of the forces – was launched by Prince Harry this year, with the support of the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour 
Fund.

Prince Harry was due to join around 40 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Bristol Blenheim bombers as they flew in formation from Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex to key Second World War airfields Biggin Hill, Duxford, Northweald and Northolt - but gave up his seat to allow a battle veteran to take flight.

When one of the vintage aircraft developed mechanical problems, the Prince decided to step aside to ensure the event’s special guests would still get to fly. And he wanted to ensure that former para Nathan Forster and Rasen’s Alan Robinson, who won places on a Spitfire scholarship training programme, were also still able to take part.

Corporal Robinson lost his leg in a motorbike accident and Mr Forster, a former private in the Parachute Regiment suffered severe damage to his left leg in an IED blast while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Corporal Robinson, and fellow scholarship winner Mr Foster, earned their wings after completing a rigorous selection process, including initial flying training with two disabled flying charities, Aerobility and Flying for Freedom as well as a weekend of flight and aptitude 
testing.

During the summer and autumn of 1940, 544 personnel from Fighter Command died as the RAF fought in the skies above southern England to force back the threat of any invasion by 
Hitler.

The 75th anniversary is likely to be the last major anniversary at which the surviving members of the pivotal conflict - who are now all well into their 90s - will be fit to take part.

A royal spokesman said Prince Harry was ‘incredibly honoured’ to be part of the event, which was held on his birthday, September 
15.