View Full Version : Battle of Britain fighter ace
1st Mar 2004, 20:27
I was reading somewhere about a WWII pilot by the name of Eric Lock a few days ago. What really caught my attention is that this little fella was the highest ranking pilots of the Battle of Britain (in terms of enemy aircraft shot down). But who has ever heard of him? Not only, he is totally overshadowed by the likes of Douglas Bader who had a less impressive record.
Has anyone heard of him and if not where can I go to find out more about Eric Lock himself and what might have happened to him the day he was shot down. Would the MOD have any useful info, or are there any societies that deal directly with this sort of stuff.
Any pointers would be great. Ta in advance.
1st Mar 2004, 20:59
Link above to BBC site, first hit from a google search.
He was quite a lad. Not quite 22 years old when he died for his country.
1st Mar 2004, 21:23
Try 'Aces High' by Christopher Shores (first edition 1966, rare as Hen's Teeth; later edition 199?, Grub Street).
There are a whole host of 'aces' not really well known - argubaly 'Pat' Pattle has never had the attention his record merits, and there are several who had scored in the 20s who are barely known.
2nd Mar 2004, 03:29
- in the Private Flying forum.
Someone's got a big chip about mil pilots. :rolleyes:
Check out the 'Ultimate High' thread, posts today.
6th Mar 2004, 05:40
not sure if it is the same Lock - but Sleap aero club (Wem, Shropshire) has the Lock lounge named after a WW2 ace. Long time since I have been there but may give you a leed.
Fly safely, Chris
7th Mar 2004, 19:48
Yes, the Sleap lounge is named after Eric Lock. They (Sleap) may have more info, or try the CRO at RAF Shawbury - Shawbury knows a lot about Eric Lock, and are I believe still in contact with his family who are still in the Shropshire area.
10th Mar 2004, 00:39
Thanks for the replies gents. I have to confess to being fortunate enough to met his sister (some 10 years ago), and view/hold his last letters and medals. Nothing short of amazing.
But there seems to be very little info in relation to what actually happened on his final flight and where he went down. Thanks for the replies regarding info on the web, but Iím after info on where I might be able to go to find a bit more in-depth stuff. I find it hard to believe there is so little on Britainís highest scoring pilot of the Battle of Britain.
This may sound stupid, but Iím toying with the idea of trying to find the wreck of his aircraft.
Thank you all one again for the replies.
16th Mar 2004, 13:41
Sorry to interrupt, but I'm the BBC producer who wrote the piece about Eric Lock.
As an amateur mil history researcher, the idea of finding Eric Lock's Spitfire has also crossed my mind, but not sure quite how to go about it.
For a start, I could find very little information other than his aircraft went missing over the Pas de Calais and the date, 3rd August 1941.
Personally, I think it's a tragedy that Lock has no grave, yet it can't be that difficult to find him.
The Luftwaffe kept records on Allied aircraft that crashed in 'their' territory and there can't have been too many crashing in that area on that day. Also, it's my suspicion that the wreck, assuming it came down on land, must be located in countryside, as any post war development would have unearthed it.
I'd be most interested in hearing from any of you who get anywhere with this, as I'd like to bring 'closure' to the story, especially while Eric Lock's sisters are still alive.
And while I'm here, I'm also researching for a series of features on Shropshire's WWII training airfields, and any extra info or contacts you may have would be handy.
You can email me from my profile, or reply here.
17th Mar 2004, 10:45
Hi Pat, did you get my mail? I'm not sure if Pprune managed to send it or not.
17th Mar 2004, 17:16
Yep, I got it, thanks - three times! ;-)
Have now replied.
Winkie and A Pat
Good luck in your missions and please keep us posted. Lots of interesting and remarkable stuff from WW2 appears to be surfacing at the moment.
27th Mar 2004, 15:45
Thanks for that, Zoom.
Seeing as you guys seemed to like the Eric Lock feature, I thought there might be some interest in what we've just published on the Great Escape.
Two of the escapers were from Shropshire. One, Cyril Swain, was among the 50 murdered men, while the other was Jimmy James, the only Great Escaper to attend the 60th anniversary commemorations at Zagan this week.
We've put his whole story on our website - he's quite a remarkable bloke.
Apologies for spamming, but here's a link or two:
Jimmy James - return to Zagan (http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/history/2004/03/great_escape_return_01.shtml)
The Great Escape (http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/history/2004/03/great_escape_01.shtml)
I hope they will be of interest.