The Spitfire began as a near disaster. The developments of this famous aircraft took it from uncompromising beginnings to become the legendary last memorial to a great man - and elegant and, with its pilots, a highly effective, weapon of war. The Spitfire would not have happened at all, however, without Mitchell's indomitable courage and determination in the face of severe physical and psychological adversity resulting from cancer. His contribution to the Battle of Britain, and thereafter to the achievement of final victory in 1945, was so great that our debt to him can never be repaid. This poignant story is written from a uniquely personal viewpoint by his son, Gordon Mitchell.