There's a lot of myths about the Few, but there are also the tragic details you don't get to hear too often amidst the shouts of "Chocks away". Sgt Pilot Eric Cox was another pilot I had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions. Eric did not fly Spitfires or Hurricanes, but a converted Blenheim Bomber, going up on sorties at night. In an interview I did with him at his home for the same programme, his description of the screams of burning British airmen that could be heard over the open radio frequency, as their planes hurtled to their doom after being shot down, provided one of the most disturbing mental images of the horrors of war I have ever come across. Eric used to make little wood carvings in his shed, and kindly did one for me, and it sits in front of me in my office to this day as a reminder of another of life's true gents.
Sadly Bob, Iain and Eric, as well as their fellow comrades, are largely all now passed away. But if there is one story that I think every kid in the land should have drummed into them in their youth for ever more, it is the tale of how 3000 young lads held the line in the country's greatest moment of crisis.