Wing Commander Anthony Desmond Joseph Lovell, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, DFC (American)

Second World War

Lovell was born in British Ceylon, (Now Sri Lanka) on 9 August 1919 and grew up in Portrush, County Antrim.

A devout Roman Catholic, he joined the RAF in 1938 and trained as a pilot before being posted to 41 Squadron at Catterick to fly Spitfires. Over Dunkirk In May 1940 he achieved his first victory when he shot down a German Heinkel bomber.

During the Battle of Britain, he was shot down twice, on the first occasion by Luftwaffe Ace Major Werner Molders. Lovell survived and went on to achieve ‘Ace’ status.

Lovell was appointed to lead the 244 (Malta) Spitfire Wing. He led the Wing during the invasion of Italy and the South of France.

By the end of the Second World War, Lovell was credited with 22 aerial victories.

He returned to the UK as a flight instructor to the School of Air Support at Old Sarum. On 17 August 1945 he was killed when his Spitfire crashed whilst doing acrobatics.

His remains were laid to rest in Ballywillan Cemetery, Portrush.

Did you know…? In Northern Ireland approximately 38,000 people volunteered for service in the British armed forces between 1939 and 1945 – including 7,000 women.