Another of ‘the Few’, Wing Commamder John Elkington, known since childhood as ‘Tim’, died early this morning (1 February) at the age of 98.
Born on 23 December 1920 in Warwickshire, Elkington made his first operational sortie with No 1 Squadron on 27 July 1940 and destroyed a Bf109 on 15 August.
The next day he was in Flight Sergeant Fred Berry’s section when the squadron was ordered to patrol Portsmouth, where they engaged a large force of German aircraft.
Elkington’s Hurricane, P3173, was hit by a cannon shell in the starboard fuel tank and burst into flames, forcing him to bale out near the Nab Light. Berry followed him and used his slipstream to blow his fellow pilot on to land at West Wittering.
Elkington was taken to the Royal West Sussex Hospital at Chichester and his aircraft crashed and burned out at Manor Farm, Chidham.
He later served in Russia and in India, and after a long post-war career in the RAF he retired on 23 December 1975 as a Wing Commander. In 2014 he received the Ushakov Medal from the Russian Ambassador in London.