Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the 1942 Channel Dash, Dieppe… 65 Sqn’s Spitfires were engaged in some of the major battles of World War Two and lived up to its motto ‘By force of arms’, as Tom Spencer recounts.


War clouds were looming in mid-1939 as pilots of 65 Sqn in this formation trained for what they knew would be the inevitable battles ahead.

When World War Two began on September 3, 1939, 65 Sqn was one of the few RAF units equipped with Spitfires. It had switched from flying biplane Demons and Gauntlets as war clouds loomed.

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