If the iconic planes for the USAAF were the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang. the corresponding icons for the RAF have to be the Avro Lancaster and the Supermarine Spitfire. The Spitfire did yeoman service in the Battle of Britain. Between that and its performance and sleekness, it became the star of the Battle. To first approximation, the Spitfires took on the escorting fighters while the Hurricanes destroyed the bombers. In real battle, nothing is ever that simple or straightforward, but that was generally the battle plan.

Later, when the Allies went on the offensive in the air, Spitfires escorted bombers on raids over France and the Low Countries. For longer missions, escort duties were taken over by American fighters, which generally had better range than the Spitfire.

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