Douglas Bader

Bob Braham

Eric Lock

Pete Brothers

Peter Wickham

Bob Doe

Neville Duke

Bob Stanford Tuck

Billy Drake

George Unwin

Ginger Lacey

Frank Carey

John Cunningham

Peter Ayerst

Dennis David

Geoffrey Allard







Following the end of the first World War the RAF had reduced its aircraft down to just one thousand machines. It was not until 1932 when Hitler gained power that the RAF started to expand  again. When War broke out in 1939 the Luftwaffe had a distinct advantage over the RAF - some  of the German fighter pilots had gained combat experience during the Spanish civil War, this was invaluable experience in which they could pass on. There were two  RAF squadrons to be despatched to France in 1939 to support the British Expeditionary Force but very little action was seen until the evacuation of over 300.00 British troops from Dunkirk. It was here that many of the British  Aces learned their craft. It was the first time that Spitfires would encounter German Fighters.......


On the 23rd of May 1939 over France, Spitfires would see action for the first time against the BF 109, resulting in the loss of six Spitfires (one of which was captured after a forced landing in Calais). It was left to the Hurricanes to bear the brunt of much of the action over France, during three weeks of hectic fighting produced more than 40 RAf Aces, but they also suffered the loss of more than 180 Hurricanes lost and 60 pilots killed. On the 27th of May Calais and Boulogne fell to the German Army, It was at this time that the British launched Operation Dynamo - The evacuation of the entire British Expeditionary Force from the beaches of Dunkirk. During this time the RAf  flew 2,739 sorties losing over 100 aircraft (49 of them Spitfires) and nearly 100 aircrew killed. Top scoring pilots over Dunkirk were two of the RAF first Aces, Bob Stanford Tuck and Al Deere who claimed ten kills each. On the 21st of June France signed an armistice with Germany, the Battle for France was over, Britain now stood alone.





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