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RAF hero of WWII dies at 93

By Ruth Lumley

A fighter pilot believed to be the last survivor of the Battle of France has died at the age of 93.

Wing Commander Peter Ayerst, who died on May 15, spent eight years as an RAF fighter pilot throughout the Second World War.

Mr Ayerst, from Beckenham, Kent, joined the RAF in 1938 and was despatched to France at the outbreak of war.

Mr Ayerst survived a confrontation with 27 German Messerschmitt Me109 fighters – leaving his Hurricane riddled with bullets.

During the Battle of Britain he shot down the first of his eight kills, a Heinkel He111. Mr Ayerst, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, flew Spitfires on sorties over France on D-Day, on bomber escort duty against German missile sites and in support of mass daylight raids.

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