Ramat David 1948
THE LAST PISTON-
The British withdrawal from Palestine had started in the latter part of 1947 and on 4 April 1948, the Squadron had moved to the airfield at Ramat David in an enclave around Haifa in the north from which the final evacuation would take place in mid-
Shortly after 0900 hours there was a third attack. Flying Officers T. McElhaw and L. Hully were patrolling over Haifa when two Spitfires attacked the airfield. McElhaw immediately engaged one at very low level as it attempted to escape. He fired three short bursts and the Egyptian Spitfire immediately flew into the ground. As he turned he saw another Spitfire, checked its markings and he and Hully engaged it. McElhaw fired a long burst and it dived into the ground. Following this frantic morning, six more Spitfires arrived from Cyprus as reinforcements. The Egyptians immediately made a public apology claiming that their aircraft had intended to attack the Israeli-
The ground crew worked frantically to patch up the Squadron’s Spitfires and the following day nine left for Cyprus immediately followed by the ground crews aboard Dakotas. So ended a very unhappy period of occupation as the British withdrew from Palestine and the Jewish state of Israel was proclaimed heralding many more years of turmoil in the region. This article first appeared in the 2018 Newsletter.