Biplane fighter aces

The Commonwealth

Captain Patrick Kiva Quigley Rushmere, SAAF no. 44149V

1917 – 10 December 1942

Rushmere was born in 1917.

Rushmere started his flying training in April 1938.

In August 1940 Rushmere was attached to the 1 SAAF Squadron operating from Wajir in Kenya against the Italians in East Africa.

On 3 August 1940, an Italian Caproni Ca.133 bomber from 8a Squadriglia, 25o Gruppo, approached the airfield on reconnaissance. Three Hawker Furies were ordered off. Lieutenant Pannell’s Fury ‘206’ failed to start but the other two, with Flight Lieutenant Robert Blake (Fury ‘203’) and Second Lieutenant Rushmere (Fury ‘205’) both almost naked as they had been sunbathing, scrambled and attacked the Italian aircraft. Almost at once Rushmere’s guns failed, but Blake made a number of frontal attacks, firing a long burst into the cockpit, whereupon the Capitano piloting the aircraft attempted to land, but crashed in the bush seven miles from Wajir, the aircraft bursting into flames. All the crew perished apart the pilot, who was pulled out by rescuers. Badly burned and injured in the crash, he gallantly attempted to rescue his crew, but was forced back by the flames and died later. It was considered that Rushmere’s burst of fire had hit home before his guns failed, and this victory was therefore credited to him and Blake jointly.

On 4 September Second Lieutenant Rushmere struck a bush at the end of landing at dusk when he was on his way to Waijr. The fabric on the Fury was badly torn under the lower right mainplane and 7.5 cm of one of the propeller blades were destroyed.
10 cm was cut from each propeller blade before Rushmere continued to Wajir on 6 September.

On 11 September Second Lieutenant Rushmere overturned in a Fury when he ran onto soft earth of a filled-in bomb crater, following heavy rain.

He was then transferred to 3 SAAF Squadron and served here until 31 October 1940.

He served in 2 SAAF Squadron from 31 October 1940 until 29 March 1941 when he was attached to 3 SAAF Squadron before returning to 2 SAAF Squadron sometime during 1941.

On 22 June 1941 he returned to the Union.

Back in the Union he converted to twin-engined aircraft.

He served at 26 Air School until killed in flying accident on 10 December 1942 when his Oxford 3584 collided with Oxford 3777 (which landed safely) at Vaalwater.

At the time of his death Rushmere was credited with 1 shared biplane victory.

He is buried in Pietersberg Cemetery.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  03/08/40 1/2 Ca.133 (a) Shared destroyed Fury ’205’ Wajir 1 SAAF Sq.

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed.
(a) Ca.133 from 8a Squadriglia, 25o Gruppo. The crew perished.

Air Enthusiast Quarterly/Three kindly provided by Börje Henningsson
Dust Clouds in the Middle East - Christopher Shores, 1996
Springbok Fighter Victory: East Africa Volume 1 1940 – 1941 – Michael Shoeman, 2002 African Aviation Series No. 11, Freeworld Publications CC, ISBN 0-958-4388-5-4

Last modified 09 March 2021