'Paddy' Finucane and the Legend of the Kenley Wing

Author(s): Anthony Cooper 

ISBN: 9781781555125
£17.50 £25.00
The real story of Kenley Wing’s combats over France in 1941, led by the RAF’s greatest ace pilot of the time.
Trust Badge
  • The first detailed combat narrative of Kenley Wing’s combats and the first exposition of the Wing’s tactical problems and challenges

  • An absorbing account of the violent air war waged against formidable Luftwaffe fighter opposition by the Kenley Wing’s young pilots – men from Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada

  • An unflinching exploration of the Kenley Wing’s problems with over-claiming – the very basis upon which the Wing’s reputation was built

  • An analysis of the media-created legend of the RAF air ace, exemplified by men such as the Irishman, ‘Paddy’ Finucane, the Australian, ‘Bluey’ Truscott, and the New Zealander, ‘Hawkeye’ Wells

A year after the start of the Battle of Britain, the Kenley Wing was one of the six Allied fighter wings taking the war to the Luftwaffe in the RAF’s cross-channel air offensive over France.

Comprised of three Spitfire fighter squadrons, the Australian No. 452, the New Zealand No. 485, and the British No. 602, the Kenley Wing was typical of the wartime RAF in its cosmopolitan make-up, with pilots from all three countries as well as Ireland and Canada.

The wing’s famous ace pilots in late 1941 included the Irishman, ‘Paddy’ Finucane, the Canadian, Johnny Kent, the Australian, ‘Bluey’ Truscott, and the New Zealanders, Al Deere and ‘Hawkeye’ Wells.

The most famous of them all was the charismatic Finucane, a flight commander with 452 (Australian) Squadron, who dominated the wing’s scoring to become for a time the RAF’s greatest public relations asset. This book tells the story of how Finucane’s victories created the legend of the Kenley Wing in 1941.

BOOK ISBN 9781781555125
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 272 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 32 black-and-white photographs



Anthony Cooper is the author of four books on aspects of Australian military history, including the award-winning Darwin Spitfires. His previous book was Kokoda Air Strikes on the New Guinea air campaign in 1942. His books are mostly focused upon the earlier air campaigns of the Second World War when Allied forces faced their greatest adversity. He is a school teacher in Brisbane, Australia, teaching history. Cooper has a PhD in German aviation history, is a former RAAF air defence controller and a lifelong reader, scale modeller and war gamer.