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Happy birthday Group Captain

The Trust would like to wish Group Captain John Hemingway, thought to be the last surviving member of the Few, a very happy 102nd birthday.

Born in Dublin, Hemingway served with No 85 Squadron in France in early 1940, claiming a Heinkel He111 destroyed on 11 May and sharing in the destruction of a Dornier Do17 the following day before having to make a forced landing.

Again with No 85 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, after a brief spell with No 253 Squadron, he was forced to bale out on 18 August after his Hurricane was damaged by return fire from a Junkers Ju88 over the Thames Estuary. He fell into the sea and was rescued.

He was shot down again a week later, but on 31 August damaged a Messerschmitt Bf109. Hemingway was awarded the DFC on 1 July 1941 and commanded No 43 Squadron in Italy from early April until December 1945, retiring from the RAF in 1969.

Group Captain Hemingway currently lives in a nursing home outside Dublin, where the Trust hopes he will have a very special day.

The photograph shows Group Captain Hemingway with author and Trust supporter Jonny Cracknell.

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