KITS 02/2022

V7419, S/Ldr Marmaduke Thomas St John Pattle, CO of No. 33 Squadron,

Larissa, Greece, March–April 1941

Most of the historical records concerning the pilots fighting in the half-forgotten Greek battlefield

were lost during the retreat across the Aegean

Sea. It has therefore taken many years for historians to discover the fate of the Hurricane fighter

pilots who served under the command of South African Major Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle. Research has

confirmed that Pattle achieved 52 kills, of which

36 were achieved during his service with Nos. 80

and 33 Squadron when he was flying Hurricanes.

This secured him the number one position among

pilots of this type. One of the aircraft Pattle flew in

combat was the Hurricane V7419. Due to the hectic

times on the battlefield, most Hurricanes carried

only NW squadron codes. Pattle did not see the end

of the war. On the evening of April 20, 1941, he took

off as leader of fifteen-strong Hurricane formation

when they met superior number of Luftwaffe air-

craft. After the outbreak of a fierce air battle over

the Gulf of Eleusin, Pattle, although suffering from

fever, managed to shoot down one Bf 109 and one

Bf 110. Shortly after he was attacked by a pair of Bf

110s. He was last seen hurtling towards the sea in

flames, pursued by a pair of Bf 110s which continued

to fire. His body and the wreckage of the Hurricane

were never found.

V7743, No. 306 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Ternhill, Shropshire,

Great Britain, March 1941

The third fighter unit of the Polish Air Force in Great Britain was No. 306 (Polish) Squadron, based at

Church Fenton and established on August 28, 1940.

It was equipped with the standard RAF fighter, the

Hawker Hurricane. With these, the unit moved to

Ternhill airfield in November that year, from where

the pilots conducted mainly patrol flights to protect

convoys. Later, No. 316 (Polish) Squadron received

Spitfires, with which they carried out attacks on

targets in occupied Europe. Towards the end of the

war the Spitfires were replaced by Mustang Mk.IIIs.

The unofficial emblem of the squadron was a white,

gold-lined diamond with a stylized wild duck and

bear, the emblem of the original pre-war Torun Fighter Squadron of the Polish Air Force.

V7101, F/Lt George Burges, No. 69 Squadron, Luqa, Malta, May–June 1941

One of the founding members of the Gladiator Fighter Flight at Malta's Hal Far airfield was George

Burges, who achieved seven victories in the defense of Malta in the cockpits of Gladiators and Hurricanes. He was transferred to No. 69 Reconnaissance

Squadron at the end of January 1941. This unit also



received Hurricane V7101 with reduced weight. It

received additional fuel and oil tanks instead of

armament, and its other equipment included two

cameras behind the pilot's seat in place of the removed radios. George Burges flew it regularly until

June 6, 1941, when he left Malta and returned to

England. Hurricane V7101 was painted blue on all

surfaces, and the only available photograph shows

it with the rudder bearing a camouflage field in Middle Stone and Dark Earth colors.

INFO Eduard - FEBRUARY 2022