Here’s a lovely short film (about fifteen minutes) about a tiny slice of World War II history. William Lorton’s great uncle was a doctor in the U.S. Army Air Corps. There, he shot 90 minutes of personal footage of the war, including one segment of a crash on an airstrip in England.

Through a bit of internet detective work, Lorton tracked down the pilot who survived the crash. In the film, the 83-year-old John Blyth tells his story and — for the first time ever — views the footage of the crash. It’s much more interesting than it sounds.

Here’s Spitfire 944:

You can read more about the film at this Sundance Film Festival page and at Wikipedia.

9 Replies to “Spitfire 944”

  1. My favorite line in the whole thing was, “That was the sweetest airplane, every pilot should fly a spitfire at least once.”

    Unfortunately, though they built over 20,000 of them, there are less than 50 of them left.

  2. Angela says:

    The nickname of the greatest generation is so well deserved for our WWII vets. My family just spent a week with my great uncle who was in the 5th division of the Marines at Iwo Jima. He was also part of the occupation of Japan. That man is living history. The stories he told gave us goose bumps and I’m sure he was holding back the more graphic details.

  3. Amy says:

    How cool to give him a “blast from the past” with real footage. I can only imagine he was watching it touch down and still felt some fear that he’d see it pinwheel. Are they doing more with the rest of the film reels?

  4. jlcollinsnh says:

    very cool.

    I’ve passed it on to some of my pilot buddies, none of whom are old enough to have flown in WWII.

    None likely have ever had the chance to fly a Spitfire either, but it sure sounds like a sweet plane.

  5. Amanda says:

    That was very fun!

  6. That was an awesome video. Its so cool to see how that guy responded to seeing himself so many years later.

  7. Aime Lopez says:

    I miss your blogging!!, I hope everything is Fine with You!!! it’s almost a Month you haven’t update your web page…. are you traveling??

    Take Good Care and Happy Independence Day!!! 🙂

    Un Abrazo desde México!!!!

    Aime Lopez.

  8. JB says:

    Is this a dead site now? Been almost a month… Would love at least an update. Hope all is well.

  9. Gary says:

    Thank you for providing me with a great insight into your gift of sharing a blast from the past with one of our fine men of the greatest generation. This is a very enjoyable film.

    Favorite part: “That’s me!”

    Loved the way you kept it a secret until he looked at it.

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