George Frederick “Buzz” Beurling

​There is a misconception that Buzz Beurling was not a team player.

This author thinks otherwise.

Beurling had been accused of being a ‘loner’ while flying with No. 403 Squadron, and it was said that the air battle over Malta suited his mentality. From this the idea has grown that he was allowed to just go off and shoot down enemy aircraft at will. This is far from the truth. Over Malta No. 249 Squadron generally flew in pairs, something his flight commander Laddie Lucas drummed into Beurling on day two. The young Canadian took his leader’s words onboard and was never reprimanded for disobeying this rule, nor any other order. He was not guilty of waging a private war, as the island was limited in its 100 octane fuel supply and every sortie had to count. No-one, not even Beurling at the height of his prowess as a fighter-ace, had licence to roam freely and shoot down enemy aircraft. When Beurling’s Spitfire suffered radio failure (a valid excuse to act alone) he duly returned to base. If Beurling was scrambled, he followed the Controller’s orders and the same went for air tests, or any other authorised flight; if given a vector, he obeyed orders, otherwise he landed. Moreover, Beurling was a team player and constantly saved the lives of his fellow pilots in combat, on more than one occasion being shot down as a result…

Read the book. I bought it yesterday. It’s available on Google Books for $9.99 CAN.




16 thoughts on “George Frederick “Buzz” Beurling

  1. Double standards here! Albert Ball would always fight alone. I get the impression that he was treated more or less as a one man squadron. And he got public adulation and a VC for doing it!

  2. Bonjour,
    Merci de l’information. Je ne connaissais pas ce livre. Quoique, personnellement, je n’avais pas été totalement convaincu par un de ses ouvrages précédents : THOMAS Nick. Hurricane Squadron Ace: The Story of Peter Brothers. Pen and Sword. 2014. Un peu trop confus dans son écriture et les informations (très intéressantes, certes, mais parfois un peu hors-propos). Avec l’impression d’un livre où l’auteur est partis sur un sujet précis avant finalement de s’éparpiller dans toutes les directions sans véritablement cerner la problématique initiale. Après le livre était très correct sur le plan historique (tout au moins selon mes connaissances très moyennes en la matière, je laisse l’avis définitif aux spécialistes), mais un sentiment un peu décevant à la fin de la lecture (pas toujours facile pour suivre le fil conducteur).

    • Merci pour l’avertissement. Je vais en tenir compte. Je me méfie toujours dans mes lectures qui relatent des faits historiques. Les demi-vérités sont nombreuses.

    • Premier chapitre lu… On parle de son enfance… jusqu’à son enrôlement dans la RAF. Intéressant jusqu’à maintenant.

  3. I’m a tad behind in my reading lately, but I’ll surely put it on my list, Pierre. It does sound as though the man, while following orders and succeeding, won him a jealous note or two.

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