Here at allspitfirepilots.org, we've built the world's largest and best collection of Spitfire pilot biographies going into extra-ordinary detail matching pilots to their squadrons (and other squadron pilots), the specific aircraft they flew, with the ability to ask questions, leave a comment, post a picture, or follow a particular pilot (get informed when others add information). Launched in 2015, there has now been 5 years of global contributions including heart-wrenching stories, humorous incidents, recollections from pilots and sons and daughters, legacies preserved.
As the creator (and software developer) of this site, it has been an absolute pleasure to create this very personal and historical site and make it database driven so that the collection of material grows. Being a global resource, submitters (often family members) have posted otherwise 'lost to the attics' material and imagery. They have been able to both add and seek out more information on pilots. Spitfire Pilots from the UK make up a significant number, but so do the Poles, Canadians, Americans, Czechs, Australian, Dutch, Norwegians, South Africans, Belgians, French and so on. Then there are the pilots from India (one in particular still alive and contributing to the site), Brazil, and even the Caribbean. On the aircraft side, the entire Spitfire database allows images from theatres of operation to be posted, it's been humbling to see these snapshots of aircrew working on an aircraft.
Stories of rescues, tragic air accidents, battle, aces of course, and escapes, harrowing photo recon -- you name it, we've had them all come in. Could the site lend itself to a book, for sure, relatives and enthusiasts that enjoy sharing information are in touch with the editor(s) of this site and I am happy to pass that information along.
As a software developer, I decided that this project was ideal. A potentially large global database of both pilots and aircraft allow for linkages, and, new discoveries. The site is written in one of the very best frameworks for custom software development, laravel, and, it's up to date. I am willing to do more technical work, or, help a new group or museum add features if required. Generally the traffic sits at an impressive 2,000 unique visitors a month, with new content being added constantly.
I operated the site to collect the human stories, not just the aces and not just in battle, but pre-war, post-war and of course, the very detailed specifics within theatres of operation and service. Each pilot now has an anchor for new information and a legacy of flying perhaps the most incredible aircraft of it's time.
Where partners help take the site is uncharted but exciting territory. New site features, featured content, featured members, and new forms of member communication via relate content. A book based on featured pilots? Visits to Malta, Germany, Italy, the Croatian Coast, Russia, France perhaps. Virtually or in person once COVID ends. In the meantime, I am looking for an enthusiast group or association to help take the site to new heights as I continue to manage the technical element of the site.
How to reach me, pretty simple -- click Contact Us at the bottom of the site.