A small town in Lancashire unveiled a memorial to the Supermarine Spitfire over the weekend, to commemorate a fundraising effort during World War II when residents donated about $8,000 to buy an airplane for the Royal Air Force. The stainless-steel sculpture features a one-twelfth-size Spitfire with a wingspan of about 12 feet. It flies at the top of a soaring pedestal, erected on a traffic island in Darwen, "on The Green, near the White Lion Pub," according to the Lancashire Telegraph.
The memorial was built by apprentice engineers at the WEC Group, a local metal firm, who worked on it for two years. The project cost about $275,000, according to the BBC. The original Darwen Spitfire entered service in 1941 and is believed to have been shot down somewhere over Holland about six months later. "Darwen was the smallest town in the UK to finance a Spitfire during World War II and the Spitfire memorial will be a lasting reminder of the town's contribution to the war effort," a spokesman for WEC said at the ceremony.