Remembering the life of Squadron Leader M. J. T. St. John "Pat" Pattle DFC, who was killed in action today`s date, April 20th 1941 in the fighting for Greece. I have written extensivly about him on here and elsewhere since years ago. Here are some details of this remarkable man, he was the top RAF ace of WW2 with around 41 victories to 52. http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/commonwealth_pattle.htm - A very comprehensive biography
The question comes back?
Why was Pat Pattle the best RAF fighter pilot?
Answer: He was a gifted flyer and a natural marksman who took infinite pains to improve his talents, doing exercises to improve his distance vision and sharpen his reflexes. His first 15 victories were in the antiquated Gloucester Gladiator, 9 more victories followed in a Hurricane, and then in 33 Squadron over 39 days he shot down no less than 26 enemy aircraft. Even while suffering from high fever, he scored nine air kills in his last four days. The end came on 20 April, even though sick and exhausted, he went to the aid of a fellow pilot hard pressed by a Bf110 over Eleusis Bay. He was set upon by other 110s and killed. Pattle’s initial claims against the Luftwaffe were documented, but increasingly, loss of records for April 1941 has forced reliance upon diaries and memoirs - particularly the diary maintained by his fitter, W. J. Ringrose. Whilst many of the April claims did not receive official confirmation or recognition, it does appear that by 20th his score had reached at least 50, making him the RAF's top-scoring pilot of the war. What he might have achieved over Europe in a Spitfire we will never know.
Pat Pattle lies with his wrecked Hurricane in the sea, somewhere South of the Bay near Eulisis. May he rest in peace.
He was the greatest fighter pilot that the RAF will ever have.