Flt Lt Eric Stanley Lock became an ace on 5 September 1940 when he shot down four German planes over the Thames Estuary in a Spitfire that wasn’t even his. But the victory was bittersweet.
We see him here flying in front of his leader, Hilary Richard Lionel “Robin” Hood, moments before their squadron of 12 encountered a large formation of Luftwaffe bombers escorted by an array of fighters. Both pilots engaged the enemy, but only one survived the battle. Lock gained four kills—two Bf 109s and two He111s—but lost a friend and mentor in the process.
Lt Lock would go on to score a total of 21 kills and 26 destroyed aircraft, making him one of the top RAF aces of World War Two before he went missing in action off the coast of France on 3 August 1941.