Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Group Capt Billy Drake DSO DFC* 1917-2011

Group Capt Billy Drake DSO DFC* joined No 1 Squadron in May 1937 and went with the squadron to France in September 1939 and during April/May 1940 scored around 5 victories before being shot down, wounded and flown back to England. After a short spell as a flying instructor, he was posted to 213 Squadron on October 2 1940, and three weeks later he joined 421 Flight, as a Flight Commander. He was awarded the DFC (7.1.41). In October he formed and commanded 128 Squadron in West Africa, then commanded 112 Squadron. Awarded a Bar to the DFC (28.7.42) and the DSO (4.12.42). He took command of the Spitfire Wing in Malta in June 1943. He received the DFC (US)(22.10.43) and was appointed Wing Leader 20 Wing, Typhoons, in late November. He took part in the first Battle of Britain flypast in September 1945. His final score card was 24 victories and he retired from the RAF on July 1 1963.