28.08.1940 54 Squadron Spitfire I X4053 Sq/Ldr. Finlay
Date: 28th August 1940
Unit: No. 54 Squadron (motto: Audax omnia perpeti - 'Boldness endures anything')
Type: Spitfire I
Base: RAF Manston, Kent
Location: Ramsgate / Westbere Lake, Kent
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Donald Osborne Finlay 36031 Age 29. Slightly injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a patrol attacked by a Me109 and shoot down.
Despite suffering injuries he managed to bale out at 17:17 hrs over Ramsgate. The Spitfire is thought to have crashed into Westbere Lake.
Fl/Lt. Al Deere DFC from the same Squadron was shot down by a Spitfire earlier that afternoon, but he also parachuted to safety.
Above 41 Squadron pilots. L-R: F/O. John Noble Mackenzie DFC (died 28th March 1993), Fl/Lt. Anthony Desmond Joseph Lovell DFC (killed on the 17th August 1945), Sq/Ldr. Donald Osborne Finlay DFC, Fl/LT. Edgar Norman Ryder (died in 1995) DFC, Sgt. Roy Clement Ford (died 13th December 2002).
None - survived the war. Born on then 27th May 1909 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England. Joined the RAF in April 1935. Retired from the RAF in February 1959 as Group Captain DFC and AFC. Prior to the war represented Gt. Britain in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games winning a bronze and silver medals respectably in the 110 metre hurdles. In 1966 was severely injured in a car accident which left him paralysed - he died on the 19th April 1970 at Great Missenden, England. Aged 60.