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"I shot him down, just like that"

The late Battle of Britain veteran Bob Foster tells us about his most memorable moments flying in the conflict in our final Battle of Britain blog.

Foster's 605 Squadron had flown down from Scotland on 7 September 1940 as the Luftwaffe had started a massive bombing campaign targeted at Britain's towns and cities. Foster was flying a Hawker Hurricane when he and his squadron were ambushed by Messerschmitt 109s.

Bob Foster says, "We were jumped by Me109s that came out of the sun above us and we hadn't seen them but fortunately right at the last moment someone did see them and they were shouting out 'Break!' 'Break!' 'Down!' because there's no point hanging around because they were coming down behind us.

"As we broke, unfortunately the chap next to me was a bit slow and the last I saw of him was his plane on fire and he was killed unfortunately – a chap called Charles English."

Foster, though, made his escape and, soon after, a target presented itself to him.

"I dived down as fast as I could to get out of the way and, as I pulled up just over Lingfield, I saw a 109 ahead of me heading south, going home and it was probably one of the 109s that had attacked us.

"Anyway, he'd had his battle and he was going home and not thinking. He didn't see me. So I shot him down, just like that.

"You couldn’t relax at all. He thought “That’s it, I’m going home.” And he didn’t make it. It was an example of how you couldn’t relax at all when the action was on."

Thanks to the efforts of pilots like Bob Foster, the Luftwaffe stopped daytime raids after 15 September (now called Battle of Britain Day) and turned instead to nighttime raids – one battle was being won but the Blitz had only just begun.

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