FORMER Spitfire pilot Doug Gregory has lost his battle for life - two weeks after being involved in a hit-and-run incident near his Hampshire home.

Mr Gregory, 92, suffered serious head injuries on March 30 and was taken to Southampton General Hospital, where he died yesterday.

The former flying ace was making his daily trip to the local shops when he was knocked down by a car that failed to stop.

Police say the motorist involved in the accident at Hampton Lane, Blackfield, later came forward and was interviewed under caution.

Mr Gregory, of nearby New Road, began flying during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after surviving almost 70 combat missions over Nazi-occupied Europe.

Recalling his wartime exploits many years later he said: “I wasn't shot down but I was shot at. Luckily they missed - most of the time.”

Mr Gregory flew Beaufighters and Mosquitoes before testing a wide range of aircraft, including Spitfires and Hurricanes.

He left the RAF in 1946 and became an art teacher at two Hampshire schools including Hardley - now the New Forest Academy.

Daily Echo:

The scene of the incident in Blackfield

He also built a 1917-style bi-plane and joined the Great War Display Team, eventually becoming Britain's oldest stunt pilot.

In 2010 Mr Gregory and some of his fellow pilots took part in a dogfight over the New Forest to celebrate the centenary of the former Royal Fying Corps airfield at East Boldre.

The pensioner had bought a paper at Blackfield Newsagents and Post Office and had just started walking home when the accident happened.

Daily Echo:

Doug Gregory in 1943

A police spokesman today confirmed that officers were still investigating the accident.

He added that no-one had been arrested or charged in connection with the collision.