By James Somper
One of Britain’s last Second World War fighter aces says that he’s determined to reach his 100th birthday so he can fly his beloved Spitfire for a final time.
Squadron Leader, Allan Scott, is one of the last remaining UK aces left alive and is the only one still living from the Battle of Malta.
With 13 confirmed enemy kills, the steely pensioner from Witney, Oxfordshire, later became a test pilot, flying the supersonic English Electric Lightning.
And despite his age, the 97-year-old is still a fan of danger and enjoys spins in his beloved Mercedes sports car.
Allan said: “I aim to at least get to my 100th birthday because Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar have promised me that I can fly the Spitfire, and I’m looking forward to that.”
Allan joined the Royal Air Force aged just 18 in 1940 and went on to serve across Europe, rising to the rank of Squadron Leader.
He flew in the Battle of Malta in 1942 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal by King George VI.
He said: “The Spitfire saved my life.
“To me it is an iconic aircraft which was absolutely suitable for combat.
“It fitted you like an overcoat. When you got into a Spitfire your shoulders fitted either side.
“When the aircraft moved, you moved with it. In combat this was most essential because you could fly it instinctively.
“If the pilot had the skill he could use it to out manoeuvre all enemies and beat the Messerschmitt.
“That saved my life a number of times.
“It was a marvellous aircraft, I loved it and still do.
“It’s Britain’s most iconic creation, it’s a wonderful aircraft.”
Allan says he has a stoic attitude about the dwindling number of WW2 fighter aces following the recent deaths of fellow aces Geoffrey Wellum and Tom ‘Ginger’ Neil.
The great-grandfather said: “It was sad.
“But we fighter pilots are a strange lot. In the war, we had to be callous because the odds were so much against us.
“We accepted this and when we came back if you found old Rob or Johnny or one of your friends had been shot down you had be to callous.
“You didn’t mourn them, you said just ‘poor old Johnny got the chop’ otherwise you’d never get airborne again.
“You can’t afford to be emotional or dwell on it because your turn could be next.
“We had a life expectancy of 15 minutes when we were in combat. If you were unlucky, that was it.”
Initially serving in England, Allan was posted to Malta while the island was being besieged.
Recalling one particularly scary moment in the skies above the Mediterranean, Allan said: “I shot the bomber down but exhausted my ammunition so I spiralled down towards the sea to escape back to Malta because I couldn’t do anything.
“Unfortunately two Messerschmitt’s also saw me going down and came down with me.
“I managed to keep them at bay but they realised I had no ammunition.
“I kept turning away from them and this went on for quite a while till it became a stalemate.
“They released they were running out of fuel and they couldn’t shoot me down and I couldn’t shoot them down.
“They went back to Sicily and I went back to Malta.”
Allan is determined to reach his 100th birthday so he can once again get airborne but admits that he takes each day as it comes in his old age.
He also said that he thinks life is tougher for young people now than it was for the people of his generation.
Allan said. “I want to get to my 100th birthday.
“You didn’t have all this nonsense that you have today. People had integrity and they don’t seem to have that anymore.
“In the old days if we said we’d do something we meant it. Integrity is now gone.
“I feel that our country has always been great and will always be great.
“I hate people who try to run our country down. I’m proud to have fought for it and I’m proud to be a Brit.”