There is a thunderous roar of Merlin engines as the American volunteers of 71 Squadron RAF power up their Spitfire Mk.Vbs ready to scramble into action, summer 1941.
Under American law, in 1940 it was illegal for United States citizens to join the armed forces of foreign nations and yet many hundreds of American citizens volunteered to fly with the Royal Air Force. 240 Americans flew and fought with the RAF and RCAF during the Battle of Britain and the volunteers even formed their own squadrons – the Eagle Squadrons. The first of these was 71 Squadron which saw action at the height of the battle in September 1940.
One of the most famous Eagle Squadron pilots was Jim Goodson who flew Spitfires in 1940 and later transferred to the USAAF 4th Fighter Group in September 1942 and also served with the 31st Fighter Group. Highly-regarded as both a Spitfire and P-51 Mustang pilot, he finished the war an Ace with 15 victories.