Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Battle of Britain flying ace dies in Sussex

Bob Doe during the war
Wing Cdr Bob Doe with his aircraft during World War Two

One of the Battle of Britain's most successful pilots has died at the age of 89.

Wing Commander Bob Doe, of Crowborough, flew Spitfires during the battle and was one of the RAF flying aces, destroying at least 14 enemy craft.

Surrey-born Wing Cdr Doe died in hospital of pneumonia on Sunday.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his heroics in the sky and the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his inspirational leadership.

He was shot down in 1940 and a year later suffered facial injuries and a broken arm when his plane crashed.

'A great man'

Robert Doe

RAF Flying ace was a 'great man'

After 22 operations to rebuild his face he continued his war service in Burma and stayed in the RAF until the 1960s.

His son, Robert Doe, said: "He wasn't a brave man by nature, he wasn't the sort of guy who would fly into a dogfight willy-nilly. He was careful, he chose his moments.

"I think that conquering of that internal fear, through the passion for his country, the passion for his family were what made he a great man and a great pilot."

After he retired from the RAF he worked at a family-owned garage business in Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Wing Commander Bob Doe

Battle of Britain ace dies at 89

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