RAF Spitfire aces: Bennions, Johnson, Plagis and Sheperd

After presenting a few Hurricane aces, here are some famous Spitfire aces of the Royal Air Force.

Spitfire Mk Ia X4559 flown by S/L George “Ben” Bennions, No 41 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

George “Ben” Bennions was one of the leading Battle of Britain Spitfire pilots, credited with twelve enemy aircraft destroyed in just over 2 months, before he was shot down and wounded on 1 October 1940.


Spitfire Mk IXc ML214 flown by S/L John Plagis, Officer Commanding No 126 Squadron, Royal Air Force, July 1944.

Ioannis Agorastos “John” Plagis DSO, DFC & Bar (1919–1974) was a Southern Rhodesian ace, noted especially for his part in the defence of Malta during 1942. Plagis was the top-scoring Southern Rhodesian ace of the war, and the highest-scoring ace of Greek origin, with 16 confirmed aerial victories including 11 over Malta.


Spitfire Mk IXc EN398 flown by Wg Cdr “Johnnie” Johnson, No 144 (RCAF) Wing, 1943.

Air Vice Marshal James Edgar “Johnnie” Johnson CB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, DFC & Bar (1915-2001) was credited with 34 individual victories over enemy aircraft, as well as seven shared victories, three shared probables, 10 damaged, three shared damaged and one destroyed on the ground, making him the RAF’s highest-scoring ace on the Western Front in World War II.



Spitfire Mk XIV SM825 flown by S/L John Sheperd, DFC, No 41 Squadron, Royal Air Force, April 1945.

Flying SM825, 20-victory ace John Sheperd shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 110 towing a Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket fighter on 14 April 1945, destroying both.

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