Above and Beyond

Graham Pitchfork outlines the career of the Royal Air Force’s only Icelandic fighter pilot, Thorsteinn Jonsson


Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1921, Thorsteinn ‘Tony’ Jonsson travelled to England in April 1940 and joined the RAF. After training as a pilot, he joined 17 Squadron in July 1941 as a sergeant, to fly Hurricanes. Three months later, he transferred to 111 Squadron, flying Spitfires from North Weald, Essex. He flew squadron sweeps and bomber escort missions, including ‘Rhubarbs’ (roving low-level patrols by aircraft pairs) over northern France. By the time the squadron was withdrawn from the front line, he had completed 31 sweeps.

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