This month’s magazine Britain at War features a long and lavishly illustrated article  that relates the brief and gallant life of the RAF’s first fighter ‘ace’ (five victories) in World War Two.  New Zealander ‘Cobber’ Kain was a Hurricane pilot serving with No. 73 Squadron, which moved to France in September 1939 as apart of the Advanced Air Striking Force.  Kain’s first success came on 8 November when he shot down a Dornier 17 reconnaissance aircraft.  By the time the German’s invaded the Low Countries and France on 10 May 1940, Kain had already achieved ‘ace’ status.  In the fierce fighting that followed, his score mounted to at least seventeen.  Exhausted, he was ordered home and on 7 June he took off from a landing strip and turned to make a farewell flypast.  He had completed two slow rolls when he crashed and was killed.  At the time of his death he was the RAF’s most successful fighter pilot.  He was twenty-one years old.

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