John Cunningham scored the first Beaufighter victory of the War on the 20th of November 1940, he would go on to become the leading defensive night fighter Ace  of the War. His first 16 victories would all be scored in Beaufighters of no 604 sqn, after which he and his regular operator Jimmy Rawnsley would be rested. They returned to operations in 1943 to fly Mosquitos by now though opportunities were becoming very rare, his last four victories were three FW 190 fighter bombers and a ME 410. Afer the War Cunningham became chief test pilot for de Havilland and is probably best remembered for test flying the Comet jet liner. John Cunningham finished the War with 20 victories including one victory in daylight conditions that were to bad for the daylight fighters to operate in, this combat was of such interest because Cunningham never fired a shot he simply out flew his opponent causing him to crash!



'Cats Eyes' Cunningham & AI Operator Jimmy Rawnsley












Cunningham became a household name in England after shooting down three HE 111s in one night