Alan Deere

Alan Deere was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 12th December, 1917. He joined the Royal Air Force in October 1937 and was posted to 54 Squadron in September 1938.

Deere served in France during the Dunkirk evacuation and during a four day period (23rd to 29th May) he shot down three Messerschmitt Bf109 and three Messerschmitt 110. This resulted in him being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

During the Battle of Britain Deere destroyed seven more enemy fighters and one bomber and was awarded and was awarded a Bar to his DFC. Later he was to win the Croix de Guerre.

In January 1941 Deere became Operations Room Controller but returned to action in May when he joined 602 Squadron as a Flight Commander.

Deere was sent on a propaganda tour of the United States in January, 1942. On his return he took command of 403 Squadron before becoming Wing Leader at Biggin Hill. By the end of the Second World War Deere had twenty-two confirmed victories, ten probables and eighteen damaged. He had also been shot down himself seven times.

Deere, who published his autobiography, Nine Lives in 1959. Alan Deere retired from the Royal Air Force in December 1977 with the rank of Air Commodore.

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