New Zealander Flight Lt. Alan Deere
Alan “Al” Christopher Deere would distinguish himself in WWII, like so many other brave pilots. He fell in love with his Spitfire “Kiwi” and compared it to flying a captured Me 109. He liked the Spitfire better. He was shot down on May 28th during Dunkirk but was saved by a soldier who then complained that the RAF wasn’t doing enough to help. On 9 July Deere shot down a Bf 109 over the channel, but then collided head on with a Bf 109 of 4 Staffel Jagdgeschwader 51 flown by Oberfeldwebel Johann Illner. The propeller blades of Deere’s spitfire “Kiwi” were bent backwards, the engine disabled, and much of the fin and rudder lost. Nevertheless, he managed to glide back to the coast near Manstonwhere his forced landing in a paddock ended against a stone wall.