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Kenneth 'Hawkeye' Lee (ePub)

Battle of Britain Ace

WWII Aviation British History Battle of Britain World War Two Aviation

By Nick Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
File Size: 1.5 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781844683567
Published: 4th April 2011

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Following training 'Hawkeye' Lee received his commission and was posted to 501 Squadron which was sent to support the Expeditionary Force in France, arriving on 10 May, only hours after the Blitzkrieg had been launched. Lee quickly opened his score, claiming several bombers during the first week of operations. Having been wounded when his Hurricane exploded following a dogfight, Lee was briefly rested but soon rejoined the Squadron before they moved to their first Battle of Britain base at Middle Wallop. Lee scored more damaged and destroyed enemy aircraft and by the end of July he was Mentioned in Dispatches. Lee was forced to take to his parachute for the second time, learning of the richly deserved award of his DFC while still recovering from his wounds. He later recalled how each of the Squadron's 'aces', even 'Ginger' Lacey, had been shot down at least twice during that summer.

Lee was later posted to 112 (Shark) Squadron, flying Curtis Kittyhawks on Fighter and Fighter-Bomber missions in North Africa and then to 260 Squadron which was heavily involved in the lead-up to the battle of El Alamein, seeking out and destroying enemy troop columns and fighting off the Luftwaffe which still had air superiority. In March 1943, 123 Squadron began Fighter-Bomber operations against Mediterranean targets, during one Lee was hit by AA and made a forced – landing in an olive grove. He was captured and sent to Stalagluft III just in time to play a key role in the Great Escape.

A useful and well edited memoir.

Aeromilitaria, Autumn 2011

Book of the Month.

Britain at War - June 2011

Compelling biography and well-judged study.

Eastern Daily Press - July 2011
 Nick Thomas

About Nick Thomas

Nick Thomas is a former archaeologist and finds expert. He currently works as Collections Officer for a local authority, having been manager of the ground-breaking Stafford Castle Visitor Centre and Museum, with which he has a 35 year association. Nick has contributed history articles to a number of archaeological journals and the local press, while finding time to work on many of the ‘digs’ in his home town. In recent years he has co-written the definitive history of his home town and is currently writing a companion volume on Staffordshire.

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