FlyPast Cockpit Lengends: Al Deere

A man who epitomised so many of the qualities – courage, tenacity and toughness – of his fellow New Zealanders, Al Deere’s autobiography, Nine Lives, captures perfectly these characteristics, which made him a Battle of Britain ace and the second highest scoring New Zealand fighter pilot


Air Cdre Al Deere DSO OBE DFC* DFC (US) Croix de Guerre (France)

Leaving his homeland in September 1937, Deere travelled to England to join the RAF on a shortservice commission. After completing his pilot training, he was sent to 54 Squadron to fly the Gladiator. Within a year, the squadron had converted to the Spitfire.

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