One of last surviving Battle of Britain RAF pilots dies aged 101

Maurice Mounsdon died on Friday

Monday, December 9, 2019

One of the last surviving RAF pilots who defended the country in the Battle of Britain during World War Two has died at the age of 101.

Flight lieutenant Maurice Mounsdon passed away on Friday, his family said.

His death means there are now just three remaining members of 'The Few' - the 3,000 airmen who fought off the Luftwaffe in the skies above southern England over three-and-a-half months in 1940.

The surviving trio are Flt Lt William Clark, aged 100, Wing Commander Paul Farnes, aged 101, and Flying Officer John Hemingway, aged 100.

He was one of just four remaining members of The Few

Mr Mounsdon joined 56 Squadron at Digby on June 3, 1940, and was released from the RAF on February 22, 1946.

In August 1940, he was shot down over Colchester in his RAF Hurricane and spent nine months in hospital after being picked up by local villagers.

He had been sent to intercept some bombers, and managed to shoot at one of them before his plane was hit.

"I was on fire. There was only one thing to do and that was to get out as fast as possible," he told the BBC.

The Red Arrows staged a flyover to mark Mr Mounsdon's 100th birthday

"I was badly burned, but I rolled the aircraft over and came down by parachute from 14,000ft."

The Battle of Britain claimed the lives of 544 RAF pilots and aircrew.

On his 100th birthday last year, Mr Mounsdon was honoured with a flyover by the Red Arrows off the coast of the Spanish island of Menorca, where he lived since the late 1970s.

He retired there with his wife Mary, who died in 1993.

Paying tribute to his uncle, Mr Mounsdon's nephew Adrian said: "He was a great man and will be missed by his nephews and nieces."

And niece Margaret Mounsdon, added: "I am overwhelmed by the tributes paid to my beloved uncle Maurice a very modest and retiring man but one of the best. Thank you everybody on his behalf (Adrian Mounsdon) RIP my Uncle Maurice."

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