Portrait of George

Uploaded on Sunday 14 August 2011


WWII Canadian pilot
George "Buzz" Beurling

On July 6 he got to put into practice what he had learned when 8 Spits were sent to intercept 3 Italian Cant bombers heading for Malta. They were escorted by no less than 30 Macchi 200 fighters. Beurling led the assault diving straight through the Macchi formations and pulling up to fire on a big, Cant bomber. His first burst hit the pilot blowing off his head, the second took out an engine. Despite the damage, it made it back to base in Sicily flown by the bomber aimer/observer. Beurling turned quickly and fired directly into an Italian fighter, knocking it down in flames. He lined up another Italian fighter but it dove sharply to get away. Beurling followed all the way from 20,000 feet to 5,000. The Italian had no choice but to pull up and George caught him square in his sights. The Macchi blew up. Later the same day he led an attack on 2 Junkers Ju-88s escorted by 20 Bf-109s. A wild dogfight broke out and 2 German fighter pilots headed right for Beurling. He circled tightly and caught a 109 with a long burst from 800 yards and at a nearly impossible angle. He hit the fuel tanks and it went down in flames. In one day he increased his kill to 5 and became an ace. Back at base the other pilots snubbed him by not throwing an acknowledgement party of his ace status. He was only interested in attacking Germans. He admitted that he was a loner, but Lucas explained to him in simple, direct language that if he didn't fly as a team, he would be posted into the desert at some even more God-awful post than Malta. George flew with his wingman as well as he was able, however, over Malta most dogfights ended up being a single Spitfire against many enemy aircraft


Language: English

Length: 6 min

Country: Sweden

Creative Commons License

Portrait of George by Fredrik Friberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain 3.0 License.