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Marmaduke Pattle

Marmaduke Pattle, the son of English parents, was born in Butterworth, South Africa, on 3rd July, 1914. After leaving school he joined the South African Air Force (SAAF) as a cadet.

In 1936 Pattle moved to England where he joined the Royal Air Force. A member of 80 Squadron he was sent to Egypt two years later to take command of B Flight.

Flight Commander Pattle first saw action in the Second World War on 4th August 1940 over Libya when he shot down two Italian aircraft. He was also downed and it took him two days to walk back to the Egyptian border. Over the next few months Pattle obtained twenty victories during the Desert War.

In November 1940 Pattle was sent to Greece where he took command of 33 Squadron. On 6th April, 1941, the German Army invaded Greece. Pattle and his pilots now had the problem of dealing with the Luftwaffe.

On Sunday 20th April, Pattle led his men against a large formation of Messerschmitt 110 over Eleusis Bay, near Athens. Heavily outnumbered, Pattle was killed while going to the aid of a colleague in difficulties. By the time of his death Marmaduke Pattle had fifty victories making him the RAF's top-scoring pilots of the war.




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