After an absence of more than 60 years, a Royal Air Force fighter pilot who is famous for his flying skills, took to the sky in a Spitfire. Peter Malam “Pete” Brothers performed a Victory Roll right after taking the plane’s controls. Having scored ten kills during the Battle of Britain, Brothers had 16 total kills during World War II.
The pilot was flight commander in No. 32 Squadron RAF when he saw action first at the Battle of Britain. His squadron was then based at RAF Biggin Hill where his squad flew the Hurricane aircraft. Brothers stayed busy during the Battle of Britain. His first enemy aircraft, a Bf109, was shot down there.
During an August 1940 offensive patrol, he encountered close to a hundred enemy aircraft. Leading the fight, but before he was able to press home, Brothers was attacked by several Messerschmitt 110s. As he turned to meet them directly, he ended up in a stalled position. To counteract, he spun the plane out of it then sighted, engaged and shot down a Dornier 215. Later that same day Brothers destroyed a Messerschmitt 109.
When August 1940 reached its end, Brothers was recognized as a Flying Ace who had shot down eight enemy aircraft, which exceeded the five required kills to attain the honor. The following year he converted to the Spitfire. By 1945, he had chalked up 875 operational hours, was credited with shooting down 16 enemy aircraft, and had damaged several others.
Upon his retirement from the RAF, he had attained the rank of Air Commodore and received the appointment of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) during the Queen’s 1964 Birthday Honors, which was in addition to his Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. At age 91, Brothers died in 2008.
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