Spitfire Mk.IX, EN568, WGCDR Alan Deere, Biggin Hill June 1943
This livery depicts the Spitfire of Alan Deere whilst he was posted to the Biggin Hill Wing as a Wing Commander in mid 1943.
Alan Deere was a New Zealand fighter pilot flying for the RAF during World War Two.
Deere flew as a fighter pilot until the end of the war, finishing with a tally of 22 kills, 10 probables and 18 damaged. He was awarded 10 medals including three Distinguished Flying Crosses (two British, one American), a Distinguished Service Order and an OBE. Following the war, he stayed in Britain and held a variety of distinguished positions in the RAF, also serving as the Queens Aide-de-camp from 1961 to 1964. In January 1965 he was given the honour of leading fellow Battle of Britain fighter pilots in the main funeral cortege for Winston Churchill.
In 1995 at the age of 77 Deere passed away following a battle with cancer. Fittingly, his ashes were scattered over the River Thames from a Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Published in 1959 and again in 1991, Deere’s autobiography “Nine Lives” chronicles his aviation adventures and makes for fascinating reading about this amazing Kiwi aviator.