Flt. Lt. Ronald Mackay
26 June 1917 - 4 August 2018
Flight Lieutenant Ronald Mackay flew Spitfires with 234 Squadron in the Battle of Britain and was once seriously injured baling out of his aircraft following a sortie.
He died on Saturday, August 4 2018 surrounded by his family in Edinburgh.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, chief of the Air Staff, said: “Very sad to hear that another of The Few is lost to us.”
Battle of Britain’s pilots who were awarded a special service clasp were dubbed ‘The Few’ following Winston Churchill’s wartime address to Parliament, where he poignantly said of the brave pilots: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
Ron’s 234 squadron officially formed in 1918 in the Scilly Isles, and was equipped with Spitfires at RAF Church Fenton in May 1940.
In 1940 the squadron moved to RAF Middle Wallop flying in defence of Portsmouth, Southampton and other targets along the south coast.
Flt Lt Mackay was born in 1917 and served in the Auxiliary Air Force before the war.
He was called to full time service in late August 1939, joining 603 Squadron as a civilian pupil pilot the following month.
After elementary training in Perth, central Scotland, he was commissioned on March 23, 1940, before completing his intermediate and advanced flying training at RAF Lossiemouth, north Scotland.
Ronald joined No 234 Squadron at RAF Middle Wallop, Hants, on September 18, 1940.
Returning from St Eval after a routine sortie on September 25, 1940, he baled out and was seriously injured.
His Spitfire, X4182, crashed near St Mawgan in north Cornwall.
After being released from the RAF in January 1946, he ran the family travel business in Scotland for many years.
Of the 3,000 pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, 537 were killed in combat or died later as a result of their wounds.
David Brocklehurst MBE, chairman of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum, said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
“Our flag will be flown at half mast for the next seven days as a mark of respect.
“Sadly nature is taking its course and we have lost three of The Few in the past month.
“Now there are only eight surviving Battle of Britain veterans, the oldest is 105 and the youngest 98.
“He should be remembered for his bravery. Many of them said they were not heroes, just doing their duty, but we see them all as heroes.
“It makes it all the more important that we carry on their legacy as there will be a time when they will no longer be able to do so.”
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