13 Sep 2010

NZ veteran to attend Keith Park statue unveiling

12:17 pm on 13 September 2010

A New Zealand Battle of Britain veteran is among those who will gather for the unveiling of a permanent statue to Sir Keith Park in London's Waterloo Place on Wednesday.

Sir Keith, who was born in Auckland, commanded No 11 Group of Fighter Command and was central to the Royal Air Force's success in beating back the Luftwaffe, the German air force.

The unveiling of his memorial statue is on Battle of Britain Day, which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the World War II air battle.

Ninety-two-year-old former Group Captain John Gard'ner, who was a 22-year-old pilot when he joined the Battle of Britain, says it was important for him to go to London for the unveiling.

He says Sir Keith's achievements should have been recognised years ago.