Hawker Hurricane Mk.I V6799 / SD-X Pilot Officer K.W Mackenzie, RAF No.501 Squadron, Kenley, October 1940
It is difficult to imagine how the young men of Fighter Command managed to cope with the rigors of aerial combat during the Battle of Britain. Facing overwhelming odds and with the fate of the nation squarely in their hands, they were forced to fight for their lives on almost a daily basis and for Britain to survive, they would have to shoot down enemy aircraft at a rate of almost 4 to 1. Their bravery and determination is now the stuff of legend and the many stories of heroism and almost unbelievable devotion to duty they displayed, continue to inspire many people to this day.
One such incident occurred on 7th October 1940, when Pilot Officer Ken Mackenzie was chasing a damaged Messerschmitt Bf 109 over the south coast. Having used up all his ammunition, he was determined not to let the Luftwaffe fighter limp back to France, only to threaten his RAF comrades another day. Manoeuvring his Hurricane close to the low flying 109, he used his wing tip to sever the port stabilizer of the Messerschmitt, sending it spinning into the sea and taking the outer section of his own wing with it. He was then set upon by two more 109s and sustaining damage to his Hurricane, just managed to avoid cliffs near Folkestone and belly land his fighter in the first field he saw. The 24 year old Mackenzie quickly returned to action and claimed at least seven enemy aircraft destroyed during the Battle of Britain.