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R.J. Mitchell

Reginald Joseph Mitchell, 1895-1937

RJ Mitchell was born on the 20th May 1895 in Stoke-on-Trent, in England. He was a brilliant engineer who designed the famous Spitfire World War II fighter plane for the Supermarine company (then owned by Vickers) while seriously ill. His life, and the sacrifices he made to keep going despite pain and impending death, was the subject of a Leslie Howard 1942 movie: "The First Of The Few", which (although inaccurate in places) served to show the importance of his work years after his death.

Certainly, the combination of his Spitfire design, plus radar, plus brilliant strategy from Dowding and Park, plus the Rolls Royce Merlin engine, stopped what would have been Germany's quick conquest of Britain long before the USA was brought into the war.

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