Brendan ‘Paddy’ Finucane

Brendan Eamonn Fergus Finucane

Irish born ‘Paddy’ Finucane was posted in July 1940 to 64 Squadron flying Spitfire MK 1’s from RAF Hornchurch.

His first victory was scored on 12th of August 1940 – an ME109. By the January of 1942 he had been promoted Squadron leader and took over 602 Squadron and though wounded in February of 1942 he returned to flying and steadily built up his score of enemy aircraft destroyed

In the June of 1942, he became the youngest wing commander in RAF history and was appointed to lead the ‘Hornchurch Wing’. By July he had been credited with 28 kills making him the RAF’s top scorer.

On the 15th July 1942 he took off leading the wing on a strafing attack at Étaples.

As they crossed the coast he was hit in the cooling system by a ground based machine gun. Suddenly starting to trailing a plume of white glycol his wingman informed his leader of the problem and with a thumbs up Finucane, with his wingman alongside, turned out to sea to try and get back home.

Spitfires are notorious for their engines seizing once the cooling system is compromised and about 8 miles from Le Touquet the engine stopped. An unfortunate problem with the Spitfires design is that they do not ditch well – they go down like a rock.

It may be that after releasing his harness to ensure a quick exit upon impact he hit his head on the gunsight, knocking him unconscious. The Spitfire sank very quickly leaving just an oily patch and some maps but taking with it one of the highest scorers of the RAF – and a true gentleman.

And finally….

We at the Spitfire Manor Experience would like to invite all those like-minded Spitfire lovers to enjoy our hospitality and see Normandy from our Spitfire, flights with us can be arranged by clicking on the ‘Booking’ button – and we believe will lead you to the experience of a lifetime.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *