Photo: Royal Air Force

Photo: Royal Air Force

He rose to the rank of a Group

Captain. In the picture he is

seen with Queen Elizabeth II.

John Hemingway served in RAF for more than 30 years.

and we were helping them with it” he commented. During such an attack he was hit by flak and

was shot down fourth time in his career and had

to bail out for the third time. It happened on April 23, 1945. Once on the ground, thankfully the

Italian guerrillas got to him first. They dressed

him into peasant’s rags, so he would not draw

attention, and sent a little girl with him. She showed him a way to Allies throughout the German

positions. He feared for life of this girl more than

of his own but ultimately all ended well.

After the war ended, Paddy married Bridget and

they had three children: Susan, Michael, and Brian. He remained in the RAF service and gradually rose to the rank of Group Captain. He also

served as RAF Leconfield airbase commander,

a staff officer at NATO in France and worked at

the Ministry of the Aviation. He retired in September 1969. His wife passed away in 1998 and

after that he stayed for some time with his daughter in Canada. He has always wanted to return home and he finally did it in 2011 when he

relocated to Dublin. He currently lives in a senior

housing there.

Be Irish!

In May 2020 William Clark passed away at the

age of 101. He was a Battle of Britain veteran as

well. In 1940 he flew with No. 219 Squadron as

an air gunner on Bristol Blenheim and later as

a radar operator on Bristol Beaufighter participating in four night kills. Hemingway remained

alone, as a very last living aviator out of The Few

mentioned by Churchill. Then he granted several interviews for media, up until that time he

avoided any public presentation. He even kept

such a low profile that in 2018 he was listed as a

deceased aviator which did not escape his son’s

attention to have the mistake corrected. “During

the war all my closest friends died, and I considered memories of them a very private thing.

INFO Eduard - October 2021

Once I became the only Battle of Britain survivor

it made me think about those events again” he

told the Telegraph last year. It is not the honor

he cares about. If it can bring the attention to the

sacrifice of the others however it will be satisfying for him.

John Hemingway is 102 years old now and the

journalists could not refrain from asking for

a recipe for his age. It seems it has something to

do with a sense of humor. Paddy reportedly answered this question of the Irish Times: “I cannot

tell you not to drink. I cannot tell you not to fool

around with other people. I cannot tell you not to

fly an airplane. I cannot even tell you not to shoot

and let others shoot at you. I have done all of this.

But I am also Irish. So, the only advise I can give

to the people is: Be Irish!”









Šnajdr, M.: Hawker Hurricane Mk. I, Ostrava, 1991

Holmes, T.: Esa na Hurricanech, Brno, 2009

Paddy lives in a senior housing in Ireland and still wears the moustache.