Hero Battle of Britain pilot dies aged 100

Archie McInnes flew Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain

A Battle of Britain Veteran has died just hours after celebrating his 100th birthday.

 Archie McInnes flew Hurricanes during WW2 and passed away on Wednesday, July 31 and takes the number of surviving members of ’The Few’ to just five - according to his biographer.

“It is with a heavy heart and incredible sadness to advise the tragic news that Battle of Britain hero Archie McInnes sadly passed away last night, just hours after celebrating his 100th birthday amongst friends and family,” said his biographer and friend Jonny Cracknell via Twitter.

“An inspiration and hero of a man – rest in peace dear Archie.”

 Those who fought in  Battle of Britain came to be known as ‘The Few’ after a speech by prime minister Winston Churchill and the British victory marked a turning point in WW2.

 By the end of the battle 544 RAF pilots and aircrew had died.

Who was Archie McInnes?

Born on July 31, 1919, Archie joined the RAF volunteer reserve in 1938, the year before the war broke out.

He completed his pilot training in August 1940 and was commissioned the next day.

The Flight Lieutenant flew Hurricanes with 601 Squadron in Exeter.

He moved to 238 Squadron at Chilbolton, Hampshire, on October 8 1940 and following the conclusion of the Battle of Britain he was on board HMS Victorious as part of the team hunting for German battleship the Bismarck.

From April 1941, Flt Lt McInnes was part of the North African campaign where he flew various missions including providing cover for bombers.

He was shot down by a Messerschmitt fighter plane on October 30 1941 and lost his left arm, was released from the RAF in 1946 and retired to village life just outside Cambridge.

  

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