Ginger Lacey: Fighter Pilot

Written by Richard Townshend Bickers
Category: · History

Ginger Lacey wanted to fly planes from childhood.

But who would have thought that the slim and pale looking boy would become one of the most successful fighter pilots of the war?

Almost unknown outside the RAF, Sgt. Pilot J.H. Lacey shot down more enemy aircraft in the Battle of Britain than any other fighter pilot.

He shot down the Heinkel 111 which had just bombed Buckingham Palace and had the highest score (twenty-three) of enemy aircraft destroyed, as late as 1941.

Thereafter commissioned, early in 1941, he was for a time an instructor at an operational training unit, passing on to others the knowledge that he had won in the toughest series of air battles ever fought.

Returning to operations, he served under another fabulous air fighter, ‘Paddy’ Finucane; then was posted to rocket (airborne weapons) development, a task almost as dangerous as combat flying.

Later he commanded a famous fighter squadron in the Far East. and shot down the first Japanese he encountered.

Unorthodox, autocratic in his command but resentful of unreasonable interference from those above him, Ginger Lacey was a boyish-looking figure with a fantastic gift for leadership, and sharp eyes, bravery and an innate sense of timing.

He died in 1989, but his amazing story was recorded by an experienced writer who was a fellow officer in the RAF until 1951 and knew him well. It is a memorable and stirring biography.

‘The best all action war story yet produced.’ – Yorkshire Post

‘A top-scoring story.’ – Evening Standard

‘Fast-moving biography.’ – Sunday Times

‘The best biography of a fighter pilot ever written.’ – Yorkshire Evening Post

Richard Townshend Bickers volunteered for the RAF on the outbreak of the second world war and served, with a Permanent Commission, for eighteen years. He wrote a range of military fiction and non-fiction books, including ‘Torpedo Attack’, ‘My Enemy Came Nigh’, ‘Bombing Run’, ‘Fighters Up’ and ‘Summer of No Surrender’.

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