|RAF Gloucester Gladiator, Middle East, 1940. AWM|
On 6th April 1941, the few British Royal Air Force planes in Greece took on the might of the German Luftwaffe as the battle for Greece began.
Based at Yannina in northern Greece, 12 to 16 Gloucester Gladiators of the 112 Squadron took off to defend the airbase
Amongst the pilots on that day were two Australian flight officers - G. F. Graham and C.H Fry. Flight Officer Graham had been born in Foster, Victoria, on 10 March 1917. Flight Officer Fry had been born in Newcastle NSW on 29 October 1915.
Despite the fact that these planes had no armour plating and were 100 miles an hour slower than even comparable Italian aircraft, Fry is reputed to have engaged alone fifteen enemy aircraft that day.
It is reported that 25 to 35 enemy aircraft were destroyed on this day, without the loss of a single Allied plane.
Flight Officer Fry would be awarded a DFC.
The Royal Air Force in Greece in April 1941 totally 46 aircraft, out of a total of up to 200 Allied aircraft available. They faced an estimated 463 German aircraft.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
& Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council