One of the last surviving RAF aces from the Battle of Britain, Wg Cdr Tom ‘Ginger’ Neil, passed away on July 11. He was 97.
Tom flew over 140 operations during the Battle of Britain and ended World War Two with 14 victories. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in October 1940 |(with a Bar added the following month), and in 1941 he also served in the Battle of Malta. His other postings included being liaison officer for the US 9th Air Force’s 100 Fighter Wing. He stayed in the RAF after the war, and retired in 1964 as a wing commander.
Tom remained active into his old age and flew in the back seat of a Spitfire from Goodwood as recently as 2015. He also features in the new ‘Spitfire – The Feature Documentary’, released to cinemas on July 17.
The contribution of Tom and his colleagues to our freedom will never be forgotten. RIP.