Marmaduke Thomas St. John “Pat” Pattle

Marmaduke Thomas St. John “Pat” Pattle

Butterworth, Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Death 20 Apr 1941 (aged 26)
Elefsina, Regional unit of West Attica, Attica, Greece
Memorial Site* El Alamein, Maṭrūḥ, Egypt

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Column 239.
Memorial ID 14705876 · View Source
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World War II Fighter Ace. A South African native, he finished college and joined the South African Air Force in 1936. Transferring to the Royal Air Force, he completed pilot training and was assigned to a combat unit in 1937. In April 1938, his unit was sent to Egypt, and by 1939 he had become a flight commander after World War II began. During his time over North Africa, he flew the bi-plane, Gloster Gladiator, and earned 15 kills, making him the highest and only Gladiator ace. In November, 1940 his unit was assigned duty over Greece. Flying the Hawker Hurricane, he did all his scoring in a period of nine months, and was shot down during the aerial Battle of Athens over Piraeus Harbour. Considered to be the highest-scoring ace on both the Gladiator with 15 victories and the Hurricane with 35 victories, his final record will probably never be known, as official squadron combat reports and Royal Air Force documents for the time were lost in the retreat from Greece and Crete. Most researchers consider him possibly the top Royal Air Force ace of the war and certainly the top South African. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. He is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial at El Alamein together with 3,000 other Commonwealth airmen who lost their lives in the Middle East during the Second World War.

Bio by: International Wargraves Photography Project


Royal Air Force

Gravesite Details 39029


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: International Wargraves Photography Project
  • Added: 23 Jun 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 14705876
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marmaduke Thomas St. John “Pat” Pattle (3 Jul 1914–20 Apr 1941), Find a Grave Memorial no. 14705876, citing Alamein Memorial, El Alamein, Maṭrūḥ, Egypt ; Maintained by Find A Grave .