NZ Battle of Britain contingent remembered

NZ Battle of Britain contingent remembered

It's been 75 years since one of the most important air battles ever – the Battle of Britain – took place over England in World War II.

New Zealand had the third largest contingent behind Britain and Poland, and today the Kiwis who fought were remembered around the country, remembering those whom Winston Churchill described as "The Few".

The battle raged in the air above Britain from July until October 1940, between the German Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air force.

It was the first major military campaign in history to be fought entirely in the air and was seen by Adolf Hitler as a prelude to the invasion of Britain.

Around 1700 German Luftwaffe planes were destroyed.

Mr Churchill famously said: "Never, in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few."

Those "few" pilots were predominantly British, followed by Poles and then New Zealanders.

New Zealander Keith Park was in overall command of the British Air Defence, but of the 135 Kiwis fought, 20 were killed.

Today stories were told about the New Zealanders who served; for some, an emotional reminder.

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