A recent attic find reveals an RAF pilot’s personal account of a shipping strike in the Aegean… and the moment it all went wrong. Ross J Robertson captures a fascinating glimpse into wartime history
“ They had no warning of the incoming strike force… however, their retaliation was immediate, and tracer filled the air as guns from ship and shore opened fire”
“Violently,we started to weave, the aircraft giving perfect response to the controls as she was thrown from side to side, and down almost to the ground and up to about a hundred feet. We did not want to be caught like Paddy Finucane by some chance bullet.”
So starts Flying Officer William ‘Bill’ Hayter’s description of his attack, as flew his Beaufighter into harm’s way on October 30, 1943. The reference to Finucane relates to RAF ace Wing Commander Brendan ‘Paddy’ Finucane, DSO, DFC & Two Bars, a Battle of Britain pilot who, in June 1942, became the youngest wing commander in RAF history.