A MEMORIAL plaque to one of the few remaining men to have fought in the Battle of Britain has been unveiled in recognition of his achievements.

Flight Lieutenant Len Davies returned to his home town for the Battle of Britain Historical Society ceremony, which also celebrated the endeavours of Flight Lieutenant William Gore, who did not make it through the war.

Mr Davies, 91, who travelled up from his Cardiff home, was delighted to visit Ian Ramsey School, Stockton, where he recounted some of his exploits to students, staff and local dignitaries.

The former grammar school boy was 19 when he joined the RAF, but within weeks of qualifying as a pilot he was shot down over London.

Speaking to students after the event he recalled the near-fateful night. He said: “I was shot through the cockpit and my leg was injured, but the major decision I had to make was whether I would be able to land it or not. I came down to 2,000ft and planned to land on the Isle of Sheppey, but the landing strip had already been bombed.

“However, I decided I still needed to land and hit one of the bomb craters and the plane flipped over. I lost a lot of blood, but I survived.”

When asked whether he was worried whether he would return home safely every time he flew out on a mission, he said: “At 19, you don’t really think about it.

We were all looking forward to it because flying is such a wonderful thing. However, it is a pity that a lot of the cream of a generation did not make it through the war.”

Mr Davies’ comrade, Flt Lt Gore was born in Middlesbrough and was also educated at Blue Coat School, which has long since closed its doors.

Clive Millman, the regional manager of the Battle of Britain Historical Society, said: “We are unveiling this plaque in honour of two men who served in the Battle of Britain – two men who had very different lives, one who is still living a very full life and one who died before his life could truly begin.”

After the unveiling, Wing Commander Fin Monahan said: “All of us owe so much to these few. They set the benchmark for bravery and sacrifice – we are immensely proud of what they did.”