Filmmaker tracks a WW2 veteran and surprises him with footage from a crash landing he had on a Spitfire

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In 2005, an 83 year-old World War II pilot is surprised to see 16mm footage of his 1944 Spitfire crash for the first time. SPITFIRE 944 was put on YouTube as part of the Sundance Film Festival Memorial Day observance through from May 22 through June 5, 2013 (UPDATE, ShortsHD is allowing the film to stay on youtube for the moment:) The Sundance portal is here: http://www.sundance.org/stories/artic... If you are interested in your own copy, you can find it on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/spi... See more Sundance curated short films at http://www.youtube.com/screeningroom


NickRatnieks : What a great guy! " Any pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once!"

William Rance : You take a young American, barely out of college, you give him a wonderful plane, tell him to fly out to Berlin, take some pictures and fly back again! Alone, and, without guns! He did all that thousands of miles from his own back yard - in someone else's domain. No amount of medals could reward that true gentleman of the skies, his honest courage and integrity shines through, his down-home American ideal a credit to himself and the American people. Great respect from a Brit.

Jamie Webb : You sir, are a hero. On behalf of all of England and every other allied countries, thank you.

Third Dimension Jewellery : Love that expression on his face when he realizes he's watching himself! Great documentary.

Pitt Brad : Hey man i couldn't stop grinning when i saw the reaction of this veteran on the footage of his belly landing! .... jesssusss over Germany without guns, this is truly a hero ..... respect, humongous respect!.

David Smart : That was one of the best videos I've ever seen on YouTube. Bravo!!! (subscribed)

cokoladka cz : how he said that sentence " i always flew unarmed....and alone...." respect sir !

Patrick Dague : It is MARCH 3, 2015 TODAY, as I type this comment, and TODAY Lt. Col. John Blythe (USAF Ret.) IS STILL ALIVE at age 92. I know because my sister helps him out at his home once in a while in the Olympia, WA area. So Col. Blythe, I salute you, Sir!! I'm a vet myself, and a pilot and a flight instructor with thousands of hours of flying time, but nothing like this. Wow.My Dad was on B-17s. Those boys were brave men. The boys on the other side were brave men too. God bless 'em all.

Robert Hill : Lt. Col Blyth came to speak to our Cascade Warbirds group at the Historic Flight Foundation museum back in October of 2013. Great storyteller and an overall fantastic person. My group asked me to build a detailed model of his PR.XI in 1/48 scale which I did. He actually cried when I presented it to him!

smokes knight77 : Truly a remarkable story, and a remarkable gentleman! As a Brit I salute you sir and thank you for your service

SW6 : One brave man among many who helped to win the war against Nazi tyranny. Respect from a brit.

Balu : I love how you can still see a hint of the young man's smile as soon as he sees himself.

DAvenport 3-2614 : Congratulations to Lt. Col. Colonel John S. Blyth USAF on 1 MILLION YouTube views of SPITFIRE 944 since May !

Hacksaw Jim Duggan : Spitfire and Mosquito, what fantastic planes they are.

Mark Horton : The best Youtube video I have seen in a long time.

Carmel Pule' : I was born in Malta and I knew the war as a child. I owe my life to people like this gentleman as many more do. The year is 2016, It is late, but , Sir, I salute you, and thank you

Bill Cassidy : Those guys really were the greatest generation.  I'm so glad you found him so he could see this.

mistral55 : Heartwarming.. Top respect from the UK sir.. :)

SONGSTICKS : SUPERB !! I've always loved the spitfire and I used to live near Bradwell where he landed once. An old fella in Southminster my Mum knew, used to take a horse and cart loaded with vegetables from the farm to Bradwell airfield for the pilots kitchens. One day he arrived just as a spitfire was coming in all shot to pieces, glass smashed, no wing tips etc and it came in on it's belly. When the pilot got out, he marched across the field in a stiff legged way and shouted.. "The bastards nearly got me that time" It was Douglas Bader :0)

Ned Friedman : This video is AMAZING. I am fascinated with WWII history so this is so cool. Ironically, General Dixon is my great grandfather, I am so glad I found this video. 

Gigagannet : "Any pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once" What a fantastic documentary. Brilliant. Well Done!!

Sgt Steel : 13:43 that was the sweetest Aeroplane, any pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once!! Loved that bit

herecalico : That was so good to see. Loved it.

robert hoagland : Now THAT was the best thing I've seen on youtube, period

Martin Padfield : So much to admire here; the pilot's incredible detailed memory and obvious professionalism. But what blows me away - he was 18. EIGHTEEN for Petes sake. Great documentary - deserves to do really well. 

otterspocket2 : "Every pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once". I think every pilot agrees with him, but sadly...

Mark Eckert : It's great when you find a real gem like this video shinning brightly amid all the vacuous nonsense of modern life. Thanks for posting.

Cinnamanster A : "Any pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once." Yeah! What he said! Lets do that!

Diver6106 : Great for an old veteran to see his contributions appreciated. But it never mentioned the unit he flew with? My dad did photo recon with the 25th BG flying Mosquitos. A lot of people don't know that U.S. pilots flew Mosquitos either. Yah, recon was striped down unarmed planes flying fast and low.

hoogmonster : Nicest thing I've seen all day...respect.

Fredster 101 : Excellent documentary, very moving...Those were brave young men that saved us from tyranny, and kept us free!They are now passing on one by one...I sure hope we can come up with more like them.

adriancarabajal : Excellent job, you must be very proud!!, I saw the face of that gentleman when you show him the movie and his eyes lighted up!

megatwingo : Very interesting and moving. Thumbs up from Germany!

Tony W : I wish I could think of something appropriate to say after watching this astonishing film, but it leaves me totally speechless. Thank you Col. Blyth and all those of The Greatest Generation who served with you. You have my undying admiration.

Moist-Mike : So damn COOL!!! God bless the generation that won that horrible war. Dunno if folks nowadays would be up to the challenge.

Andy M : 643 people don't like it?? Are those North Korean viewers?

RCflyingfun : Awesome job, I am so glad that people are now taking the time to honor these veterans. To Mr. Blythe, Thank You for your service.

Ramana Murthy : Awsome and breathtaking film. Thanks for sharing a piece of history.

Gary Tarr : WOW , Now over 2 million views , congratulations , wonderful video show . Particularly love Colonel Blyth's comment "every pilot should fly a Spitfire once" Great man and a great hero .

Richard Fickess : This is probably one of the best videos I have ever watched.  So touching and what a great inspiring video.  Love to see our heroes smile years later after their service to our country.

bobdixon : What a guy! Wonderful documentary... thanks for posting. Amazing story.

Bill1949 WT : Absolutely incredible!! So good that Jim savage captured such things - & John Blyth - WHAT A GUY!! Well done, & thank you HEAPS for sharing this - with us, and especially with John.

AussieAlex : That pilot has balls to do that without guns or bullet-proof glass. The spitfire was a real marvel for it's time, probably kept him alive. Good man with a kind heart it seems.

Anthony Groucutt : Well that was really Fantastic .just love that footage .and the story really well Done Im now 76 and have lots of RAF books on WW2 Fighter Pilots . I really appreciate that Story and film footage

Kevin Travis : What great young men, very brave like all the PR pilots US and RAF alike. Nice to see his reaction to the film.

Gary Tarr : Excellent video . Thanks to the few American pilots who flew with no guns and no escorts . Luckily he was flying the best aircraft ever built. It proves to some American deniers ( Wilbur Finnigan ; Mark Park et al ) that Spitfires DID fly to Berlin and back !!!!

RC Enduros : Excellent video! I didn't know they flew those unarmed missions in spitfires either.   Blyth is one hell of a flyer

Jack French : Congrats to one of our True American heroes!

reyco1987 : That was absolutely fantastic. Mr. Blyth is a certified bad ass. That guy could tell stories all day and I would sit right there and listen to every bit of it. I really enjoyed watching his reactions. Great stuff.