N3180, P/O Alan Christopher Deere (RNZAF), No. 54 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, Essex, May 1940

No. 54 Squadron was the only RAF unit equipped solely with Spitfires Mk.I with Rotol RMS 7 constant speed propeller. The New Zealander

Deere, who took first flight in Spitfire on March 6th, 1940, participated in the first operation of the No. 54 Squadron, providing air support

for the retreating forces in Belgium on the May 16th. On the May 23rd, during the escort of F/Lt. J.Leather, flying in Miles Magister for the

No. 74 squadron commander, S/Ldr L.White, shot down near Calais, Deere downed his first two Bf 109s. On the 26th of May, the operation

Dynamo began in the evening, the evacuation of Dunkirk. On the 28th of May, Deere had to make an emergency landing on a Belgian

beach but managed to get back to Hornchurch after a 19hour trek. After the evacuation of Dunkirk ended, the No. 54 squadron joined

the BoB, in which Deere got 7 confirmed kills. During World War Two Deere went through a lot of leadership posts. His total score is at 22

confirmed kills (some sources claim 17 only). He retired as Air Commodore in 1967. A.C.Deere, OBE, one of the most famous New Zealand

and British pilots, died on 22nd of September 1995 in the age of 77.

INFO Eduard - March 2021