He survived nine crash landings and famously shot down a German plane that had just bombed Buckingham Palace.
“I was shot down nine times in 16 weeks. Twice I got out with my aeroplane burning from end to end, once with no tail on it,” he said.
He continued flying fighter missions until the end of the war, including a transfer to India where he took on the Japanese.
At the end of World War Two, he was credited with having shot down 28 confirmed planes, four “probables” and nine damaged – one of the highest tallies of all the RAF’s British fighter pilots.
After the war he became a pilot instructor