My Memories

As a young boy growing up in Windsor Ontario in the seventies, I lived about 4 miles south of Windsor airport. During the late spring and into the summer spending a lot of my youth in the yard doing what young boys do, I would always hear and see planes coming and going from the airport. One plane that was in and out and about the area a lot in the seventies and early eighties was a Supermarine Spitfire MK IX ( MK-923/5JZ ). Not really knowing what it was my mother who was British and grew up in the UK during WWII told me it was a Spitfire and belonged to Cliff Robertson. As I grew up my interest in aircraft grew, inside the house or out side the sound of the Spitfire flying over would immediately have me running to the farmers field behind my house to watch it fly around Windsor airport ( anyone hearing a Rolls Royce Merlin low and fast overhead will never forget the sound). It was always a pleasure to watch the Spit fly towards the airport fast and low to loose sight behind the trees on the other end of the field, to see it go straight up as it buzzed the airport, and catch a look of the beautiful silhouette of the oval wings.( another thing I will never forget)



The only disappointing thing I can recall was when I would hear the throttle cut back followed by some backfires out of the Merlin and seeing the landing gear drop. All the times I watched the Spit fly around my house or at the Windsor air show or in the eighties in the Freedom festival air show along the Detroit River , I never knew anything about the pilot who flew her until now, and his career and life is just as amazing as the legendary plane he flew. Like thousands of other air show spectators I had the great pleasure of watching Jerry fly MK 923 and see him practice around the Windsor airport. On one occasion at the Freedom Festival along the Detroit river I watched  Jerry fly right under the Ambassador Bridge. What more could be said about a true Canadian Hero who gave up the safety of Canada in the early 40's to go and fight the enemy overseas.


Jerry Billing Knave among knights

I would suggest to anyone interested to read Jerry's book " A Knave Among Knights in their Spitfires " truly a excellent read of the adventures of him and his comrades that gave up so much for our freedom.

In late 2004 I started researching my childhood passion for the Spitfire and via the internet came across Bob Swaddling. Bob has been a close friend of the Billing family for over 30 plus years now, and was ground crew for Spitfire MK923 for over 22 years. Bob is probably the top Spitfire Historian in North America and very knowledgeable about Canadian aviation history. Thanks to Bob he put me into contact with the Billing family in early 2005 and since then I have been trying to build a complete history of Jerry Billings long career in aviation on the internet.

A big Thank You to Bob Swaddling for all his help with this site and of course the Billing Family for all their kindness and help to bring this history to the public.