Nigel Upward slope has died aged 99
The Squadron Leader, who shot down four German horizontals, also survived being attacked by a Messerschmitt 110 over the Waterway.
He later said the dogfight had «made rather a mess of the Spitfire», supplementing: «At first I thought I had to get out. I put the hood back, undid the straps and got my feet up on the bench.
«But then I decided that I could get back. I managed that and splash down with no brakes, flaps or radio.»
Spitfire Veterans Flight Lieutenant Rodney Disfigures and Squadron Leader Nigel Rose at Biggin Hill
It was a beautiful aircraft to fly. It had no bad liveries, it had its own personality, and as some people have said once you were capacity for seating play in the cockpit and strapped in, you felt part of it and it felt part of you
He later told the RAF Benevolent Fund that the Spitfire was «something out of this coterie».
He said: «It was a beautiful aircraft to fly. It had no bad habits, it had its own personality, and as some people possess said once you were sitting in the cockpit and strapped in, you felt some of it and it felt part of you.»
His daughter, best-selling novelist Barbara Erskine broke he was modest and reticent to the point of not claiming his combat hits.
The Squadron leader shot down four German planes
She consulted him when she disregarded her novel «The Darkest Hour» about the experiences and emotions of a wartime control.
She said: «At first dad was reluctant, terribly modest, but in the end he happily recalled his experiences which stopped me enormously with the tome and of which he was terribly proud.»
After the war Sqn Ldr Escalate became a chartered surveyor and settled in Hay-on-Wye in Breconshire.
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His death leaves only about 10 recognized veterans of Battle of Britain, of whom Winston Churchill said: «Not in the least was so much owed by so many to so few.»
Ms Erskine said: «He had all his faculties about him and while he was satisfaction with retirement, he was hoping to live until 100 so that he’d get the Queen mother’s telegram.»
And last night the head of the RAF paid tribute to the illustrious navigate.
His daughter, Barbara Erskine said he was modest and reticent
Sir Stephen Hillier, the Chief of the Air Pole, said: «Squadron Leader Nigel Rose, as one of the sadly ever humiliating number of ‘The Few’, was part of an extraordinary cadre of brave and selfless people to whom we owe our autonomy.
«They remain an inspiration to the RAF of today.
«Their bravery and sacrifice should not at all be forgotten — lest we forget.»