Seafarer’s sister springs surprise Spitfire sortie
For a retired submariner, a trip in a Spitfire might seem a curious way of saying ‘Thanks’. To explain, when Chris Kitson’s sister relocated to the southwest with her work, he did the brotherly thing and gave her a hand. The surprising manner of showing her gratitude resulted in Chris occupying the observer’s seat for a Spitfire flight experience along the Weald of Kent.
“Perhaps this was payback for all the rum she found herself consuming over the preceding 12 months,” said Chris, who is the current master of the Lodge of Seafarers.
Having received the command, our intrepid would-be aviator set a course for Biggin Hill Airport, making sure he was accompanied by his long suffering partner, Jennie, and, to add a nautical flavour to the experience, the Seafarers’ flag.
“After taking to the air,” Chris recounted, “the pilot allowed me to take the controls. It turns out not too dissimilar to driving a submarine; although you don’t get to do many victory rolls on a sub! It was an excellent experience, and so good to have the Seafarers’ flag flying high in the sky. Top fun!
“The Royal Navy did fly a variant of the Supermarine Spitfire (designed by R.J. Mitchell, who was of course a Freemason) off carriers in WWII; the Supermarine Seafire,” added Chris, reverting to his natural focus.
Incidentally, that flag has seen some service this summer; suddenly being unfurled at locations such as HMS Victory, Highnam Court, and the Prorsum Semper family fun days.
Our thanks to Dick Smith for this article.