Tuesday, 23 June 2015

'I'd Rather Fight In A Spitfire But Fly In A Hurricane' , Ginger Lacey #WW2 #RAF Battle Of Britain Ace

Ginger Lacey, RAF Battle Of Britain Ace

Unfortunately, during World War 2, there was much snobbery in the armed forces. NCO pilots did not mix with Commissioned Officers even though they flew and fought together. They ate separately, dined and slept in separate accommodation. NCO's were just as capable of flying as Officers, this was proved by Ginger Lacey.  Lacey shot down 15 enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain and one shared.

James Ginger Lacey was a Sergeant pilot from Yorkshire who always wanted to fly. His parents made him take an apprenticeship as a chemist, he later joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve and became a civilian instructor. In France, May 1940, he shot down three German aircraft on his first sortie. During the Battle of Britain he was shot down nine times sustaining only minor injuries or escaping unscathed. Lacey was decorated with the Croix de Guerre and Distinguished Flying Medal and Bar. He received a permanent commission in the RAF after the war and stayed until his retirement in 1967. Ginger Lacey died at Bridlington in 1989. A famous quote from Lacey in an interview: I'd rather fight in a Spitfire but fly in a Hurricane' was because he said the Hurricane was made from non-essential parts - it did everything you needed it to http://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/interview-with-ginger-lacey. Lacey was also an aircraft adviser for the infamous Battle of Britain film with the all star cast. Please have a look at the audio interview I found:

#WW2 The Hawker Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane Mk2, found at: http://img1.jetphotos.net:8080/img/2/2/6/5/67264_1280949562.jpg

The Hawker Hurricane was the most numerous British fighter aircraft in the Battle of Britain. 1715 Hurricanes flew in the Battle of Britain, outnumbering all other fighter types. It is a shame it is overshadowed by the Supermarine Spitfire as Hurricane pilots were credited with more than eighty percent of kills in the Battle of Britain. It was the first British fighter to achieve a top speed of over 300 mph at 20,000 ft (328mph) and was armed with eight .303 Browning machine guns. RAF History of the Hawker Hurricane. It could fly whilst sustaining heavy damage and provided a stable gun platform. The wider set undercarriage made it a safer aircraft to land than the Spit. 3774 Hawker Hurricanes were made in total at the Hawker and Gloster aircraft factories during late 1939 and early 1940 http://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0010.html