The following was taken from this LINK
You can vote for George Beurling to be the 'People's Spitfire Pilot' by following the link above and clicking on this article (5th one down). If successful, he will feature in the RAF Museum's 'Centenary' exhibition in 2018.
George Beurling (1921-1948)
Born in Montreal, Canada, in December 1921, George Beurling learned to fly at 17 and joined the RAF in September 1940. Beurling’s talent as a pilot, together with his excellent eyesight and outstanding marksmanship, were soon apparent. So, too, was a rebellious streak which would regularly get him into trouble with authority. From December 1941, Beurling flew Spitfire Vbs as a sergeant pilot with 403 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and then 41 Squadron. While with ‘41’ he angered his superiors by twice breaking formation to shoot down enemy fighters. Posted to fly Spitfire Vs with 249 Squadron on the besieged island of Malta, Beurling’s ‘lone-wolf’ tactics now paid off. Beurling returned to Britain, claiming two more victories with the RCAF, but his individualism and continued indiscipline led to him leaving the Service in October 1944. Overall, the maverick Spitfire pilot was credited with 31 enemy aircraft destroyed with another ten shared or damaged. Unable to adjust to civilian life after the adrenaline surges of combat, Beurling chose to fly for Israel in the first Arab-Israeli war. On 20 May 1948, aged 27, he was killed when the aircraft he was ferrying to the new state crashed on take-off at Rome airport.
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