Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Paddy Finucane - penultimate mission?

As previously written about, sometimes I'll see something that gets me reaching for Google and doing a little research.

Today it was a name that I recognised from reading about the RAF in WWII.


I wondered if it was the same Paddy Finucane, an Irish Spitfire ace who was awarded the DSO and the DFC and two bars, and who was one of the youngest Wing Commanders in the RAF.

The title card of the clip in question just read -

Combat Film No. K1273
W/C Finucane Stn Flight
14/7/42 Spitfire VB
Dutch Coastal Vessel Off Ostende.
The clip showed a ship being attacked at low level and lasted a matter of seconds.
A quick search on the 'net produced the following information -
After attacking German shipping at Ostend and strafing three German airfields on July 15th, 1942, Finucane’s wing regrouped to return to Hornchurch. As the group passed low-level over the beach at Pointe Du Touquet, Finucane’s Spitfire was hit by machine gun fire that severely damaged his radiator. The engine overheated and quit, and the Spitfire was too low to allow Finucane to bail out. Losing altitude swiftly, Paddy was heard to say; “This is it, Chaps.” Witnesses reported that after a near perfect "splash" the Shamrock-Spit sank like a stone, and despite all efforts, was never to be seen again. At the time of his death, Wing Commander Finucane’s score stood at an amazing 32 victories. SOURCE
Could I have stumbled across the last piece of footage of this 'ace' prior to him being shot down and killed in action?

More info about Brendan Eamon Fitzpatrick "Paddy" Finucane can be found on several websites such as or

1 comment:

  1. Historical past is out there, and if you go looking, a little 'deeper' you will be surprised to see what pops-up, even though time is moving-on, and the 'internet-age' helps these people,have moments of their lives
    shown for all to see. Although he died in combat, is memory is still very much alive today. Well done. I, for one are so glad, that this footage is still around.