The youngest Spitfire pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain during World War Two has died, it has been announced.
Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Wellum, who was just 18 when he joined the RAF in August 1939, died at his home in Cornwall on Wednesday evening aged 96.
He served with 92 Squadron and his first missions included the "dogfights" above London and the Home Counties for which the battle became known.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust said it was "saddened by the news".
Sqn Ldr Wellum was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and was later promoted to flight commander with 65 Squadron, said a BBC report.
He later led eight Spitfires from HMS Furious to relieve Malta.
Sqn Ldr Wellum, speaking in 2013, said: "Somebody said: 'Here's a Spitfire - fly it, and if you break it there will be bloody hell to pay'."
"Looking at my life now, I had peaked at about 21 or 22. It was just lovely blokes, all together in Fighter Squadron."
He remained in the RAF until 1960.
Patrick Tootal, secretary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, said members of the charity's staff and volunteers had been "much saddened by the news".
"Only this week Sqn Ldr Wellum had been talking enthusiastically about attending the Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey on 16 September," he said.
Battle of Britain: July to October 1940
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