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Search is on for descendants of WWII Spitfire pilots from Preston

As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary (APPG) British-Norwegian Group, I hosted a meeting with Spitfire, the group bringing to flight a historic reconnaissance aircraft - the eponymous Spitfire AA810 - that was recovered from Norway in 2018. I have also launched a local search to track down the descendants of three local Second World War Preston pilots who once served in the PRU Reconnaissance Unit that used this type of aircraft.

Leopold Moody, Thomas Ball, and David Howarth all served in the PRU and originally hailed from Preston. The Spitfire AA810 project is campaigning to set up a national memorial to the Photographic Reconnaissance Units (PRU) and wishes to recognise their bravery and service.

We heard from Tony Hoskins, the Director of Spitfire who told the story of how the aircraft was recovered in Norway with the help of locals. The recovery of the plane developed into the Spitfire AA810 Project, which as well as returning the original plane to flight, runs a STEM-focused careers programme for 15–18-year-olds. To support their efforts, I wrote to local schools and colleges highlighting the benefits of the programme.

As part of the campaign, I also launched a search to track down the relatives of three Second World War pilots from Preston. If you think you might know someone related to these individuals, please go the Spitfire AA810 Project website, or get in touch with Tony Hoskins,


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