Did You Know The Battle Of Britain Had A Jamaican Pilot? Me Neither

by Daniel Russ on August 18, 2010

Supermarine Spirfire

Hurricane Mk 1

During the summer and autumn of 1940, The Wehrmacht was in full control of the French beaches facing Britain. Hitler was planning an invasion of England called Operation Sea Lion. A massive amphibious and airborne invasion staged from France couldn’t be accomplished without first destroying Britain’s Air Force and air defenses. So the Battle of Britain was five-month air battle of attrition that marked one of the first real defeats of the Germans in World War II. The Luftwaffe made hundreds of bombing and strafing raids against British air assets and the British, outgunned, out numbered, prevailed.

The fact is Britain was simply better prepared. They had great fast nimble aircraft. The Spitfire and the Hurricane. The Spitfire of course was newer and faster and had a better climb rate. It was a sort of technological media star of its day.

The Luftwaffe’s Me 109 squared off against these two. The 109 had four guns, two 20mm wing cannons and two 7.62 mm machines. The 109 had a slightly faster climb rate than the Hurricane and was at least 20 to 30 knots faster at altitude. The 109 and the less numerous Spitfire were about equals, and frankly it surprised Nazi pilots. From the outset, bombers were astonished that the Brits had a nimble fast climbing fighter that could go toe to toe with Luftwaffe.

Numbers

The British started off with 1963 aircraft. The Luftwaffe brought 2,550 aircraft. The Brits suffered 1547 aircraft destroyed, 544 aircrew killed and 422 wounded. The Nazis however lost 1887 aircraft, 967 pilots and crew captured and 2698 aircrew killed.

Of the 1547 British aircraft destroyed 60% of the pilots survived to fight another day. Pilots of course would parachute into English territory. Some were shot down, walked to a train station and took a ride back to the airbase. German pilots who parachuted were taken prisoner and removed from combat all together. These pilots Germany would not be able to replace fast enough.

The Spirfire accounted for 529 Nazi aircraft shot down. The Hurricane accounted for 656 German aircraft shot down. So thehumble Hurricane was the real workhorse of the Battle of Britain.

It’s also interesting to note that hundreds of pilots were extra-nationals. Including 145 Poles, 127 New Zealanders, 112 Canadians, 88 Czechs, 32 Aussies, 25 South Africans, 28 Belgians, 13 French, 10 Irish, 7 Americans and a single pilot from British Palestine, Rhodesia and believe it or not, Jamaica.

I have to find out who he was.

Hawker Hurricane

Junkers 87 Dive Bomber

Junkers 88

Heinkel He 111 Bomber

Dornier Do 17

Source: The Truth About History. Barnes & Noble, 2007; Wiki

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Corsair8x August 18, 2010 at 11:34 am

Hope his guns not be… jammin’, jammin’ – hope your guns jammin’ too.

Daniel Russ August 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm

LOL

Willis Tubergen October 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

interesting comments from others…hmm, not sure what to think

andrew hall February 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm

the pilot was the son of the owner of mahogany hall in Trelawny. Many more pilots from other colonies were in the that conflict the as colonist carried English Passports

Michael D. Edwards March 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Just for added information, a Filipino as well fought in that battle his name was Quintin Faredes jr. indeed it is not only the English people or the Europeans who owed it to the “few” but the people of the world owed it to the brave few who stood at Hitler’s military might that saved the world from the tyranny of these Nazi fanatics

Daniel Russ March 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Cool

This whole battle gets more and more interesting

Thanks Mr. Edwards

Horace Sinclair March 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm

There were many Jamaican pilots that flew for the RAF during the WW2.Most notable was former P.M. Micheal Manley. Interesting topic.

Wade A. Morgan June 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm

The information re the Jamaican pilot who participated in the Battle of Britain is located at:

http://www.bbm.org.uk/Capstick.htm

Constantine George Taylor May 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

Many thanks to the contributors of the Civilian Military Intelligence Group for the historical facts provided.

With Britain deriving much of its Greatness primarily from its Colonial ties past and present, not to mention the benefits derived and contributions made from these relationships.

Should we not ensure that, these positive contributions that were delivered openheartedly from citizens of the Colonies when needed, be taught positively within the broad spectrum of our educational system from an early age.
Such positivity, will in my opinion assist in ensuring that with each generation being made acutely aware of the legacy to which they are enjoying today, were in part made possible by the historical contributions of the forebears of present migrants and citizens whom have given their all for the unity of a nation commonly known as the ‘’United Kingdom of Great Britain’’.

Therefore there offspring(s) should never be negatively singled out abused and be used as political scapegoats, but as their equals and contributors to our society.

Maybe then, we can genuinely use the Term a ‘’Multicultural Society’’; and not to be used for Political gains come electioneering times by the many Political scenic’s seeking desperate votes!

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