ORGANISERS of this year's Fawley Armed Forces Day have revealed that a Supermarine Spitfire is due to make a spectacular fly-past.
The aircraft's appearance is expected to be the highlight of the event, which is held at Gang Warily Sports Centre every year to celebrate Britain's armed services.
This year's spectacular on June 17 will include the Fawley Show, which has been saved from the axe.
A spokesperson for Fawley Parish Council said: "Due to the high costs of putting on the show, it was announced earlier in the year that it would be closing.
"However, the parish council stepped in and invited the Fawley Show team to bring the 'heart' of their show to Armed Forces Day."
This year's line-up includes two helicopters - a Scout and a Sioux - from the Historic Army Aircraft Flight.
Spectators will also be able to admire military, historic, and classic vehicles as well as "Herbie", the Volkswagen Beetle made famous by the 1968 comedy film about a car with a mind of its own.
Live music will be provided by bands including Wire JD, Plus One, Junkyard Dogs, Davey Jones Locker, and Soulcatchers.
Children's activities, a funfair, a model boat club, and a petting farm will all add to the non-stop entertainment.
Food and drink will be available but spectators are free to take their own picnic.
Weather permitting the Spitfire will roar over the showground at Newlands Road, Blackfield, just before 3.40pm.
In 1940 Spitfires and Hurricanes played a vital role in the Battle of Britain, Hitler's attempt to destroy the RAF and thus pave the way for a Nazi invasion.
Spitfires engaged German fighters while the slower Hurricanes tended to target the bombers.
As the battle raged a furious Hermann Göring called a meeting of Luftwaffe commanders and demanded to know what they needed to achieve victory. One of them replied: "A squadron of Spitfires."
The epic conflict featured more Hurricanes than Spitfires - and they shot down a larger number of Nazi aircraft.
But they never excited the same passion as the Spitfire, which was designed by the legendary R J Mitchell at Vickers Supermarine in Southampton.
After the works were bombed in 1940 production was hastily switched to other buildings in and around the city, including laundries, bus depots, and garages.
Mitchell lived at Russell Place, Portswood, and is buried at South Stoneham Cemetery.