Joseph John "Jack" Doyle

Born in UK, moved to USA, then to Canada

Combat Record


Dec. 28: REAF MC.205V and an REAF Spitfire damaged (in Spitfire White 12)

Dec. 30: REAF MC.205V (in Spitfire White 24)

Jan. 7, 1949: REAF MC.205V (in P-51D)


Jack Doyle showed up as part of the gang of Canadians that arrived in late September or early October. He had his first operational flight on Oct. 19, during Operation Yoav. He and another pilot escorted the Israeli B-17s on a bombing raid of Huleiqat and in his debrief, Doyle reported accurate bombing and a moderate amount of flak.

Two days later, Doyle flew in Spitfires with Augarten to CAP the region between Beersheva and Al Arish. They intercepted four REAF Spitfires and Augarten shot two down. A third REAF aircraft was damaged.

On Oct. 22, Doyle took a Spitfire up in an unsuccessful attempt to intercept the "shuftikite", a reconnaissance aircraft that entered Israeli territory from the eastern Galilee, overflew Ramat David, then continued south through the Negev. Its noon-time flights also earned it the nickname "Noon Charlie". Flying in mid-day at 30,000, it left clear vapor trails in the sky. Israeli officials were convinced it was an Iraqi Mosquito but it actually was a Mosquito PR.34 from 13 Sqn RAF, based at RAF Kabrit near the Suez Canal.

Doyle flew D-130 to Damascus and Beirut on photo-recon missions n late November or December.

Rudy Augarten and Doyle (in White 14) were out on Spitfire patrol on Dec. 22, the day the REAF started to operate its new Macchi MC.205Vs. They met a formation of Macchis and damaged one.

On Dec. 23, Doyle left Chatzor in a Mustang to escort the the incoming, unarmed Velvetta 2 Spitfires.

On Dec. 28, Gordon Levett in a S-199 and Jack Doyle in Spitfire White 12 escorted four of 35 Squadron's Harvard dive bombers to Faluja. After the Harvards dropped, Doyle and Levett spotted eight enemy fighters east of Faluja. Levett thought they were four Spitfires and four Fiat G.55s whereas Doyle claimed they were all Fiats (or Macchis). The escort fighters stayed with the bombers until they had dropped, then returned to the enemy flight.

The two pilots reached an up-sun position 4,000 feet above the enemy, who apparently hadn't spotted them. With radios that used different frequency sets (Weiss and Weiss 1998, Levett 1994), the two pilots could not verbally communicate, but Doyle smiled and pointed at the low planes, then dove as Levett followed.

Diving on the Egyptians, Doyle exploded a Macchi MC.205 immediately. Doyle recalled:

We jumped them. I shot down one and went after another. Gord hit two, the rest got away. (Cull et al 1994)

Levett's report was far more verbose:

As Doyle and I climbed into the sun I remembered a rumour that ex-Luftwaffe aces had joined the Egyptian Air Force. It would be a bizarre fate for an Englishman in a Messerschmitt to be shot down by an ex-Luftwaffe pilot flying a Spitfire. A dog-fight at last! I was excited but not afraid. Most pilots in combat feel it is the other chap who will die. To think otherwise would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Harvards dropped their bombs hurriedly on Faluja and returned to base. They were no match for the fighters. The enemy had not yet seen us. By now we were in perfect attacking position, about 4,000 feet above them and between them and the sun - bright, blinding sun even though it was winter.... Doyle grinned at me and pointed downwards with his index finger, his thumb cocking an imaginary gun. I nodded and followed him down. He attacked a Fiat before they saw us. I locked onto a Spitfire and fired. Bits flew off the Spitfire and the white trail of glycol told me his Merlin engine was probably mortally wounded. I was about to finish him off when I saw another Spitfire coming up my starboard side and broke off the attack. I turned steeply trying to shake him off, but he was still there. Looking back over my shoulder I watched, hypnotised, the tiny, pretty, orange lights twinkling at me from the leading edge of the enemy Spitfire's wing before I realised I was staring eternity in the face. I was looking down the barrels of machine guns and cannon that were trying to kill me. I realised I was being a bloody fool trying to out-turn a Spitfire in a Messerschmitt. I rammed the control column harshly forward and dived in as violent a manoeuvre as I had ever flown. Dust and dead flies flew up from the cockpit floor and my head banged against the roof of the cockpit canopy, but despite the heavy negative gravity forces imposed by the manoeuvre the fuel-injected engine continued to run sweetly.

I dived beyond the vertical to make sure. He disappeared. I did not need to look at the airspeed indicator to know I was nearing 450 mph when I pulled out of the dive and zoomed back into a gaggle of Spitfires. But I could not fire. Doyle had a unique advantage in this melee. He could fire at any Spitfire. I had to make sure I was not firing at him.The Egyptians had a similar problem. I saw a lone Fiat G.55 below me heading home towards the Egyptian Air Force base at El Arish and I used my superior height to catch him up. I did not know the strengths and weaknesses of the Fiat, but it did not matter for his evasive manoeuvres were elementary. I fired a short burst from his starboard quarter. He flew on, straight and level, at my mercy. Perhaps he was injured. I did not like the role of killing a sitting duck and considered lowering the undercarriage and waggling the wings at him in the accepted signal demanding his surrender, but it was too dangerous. It would slow me down and there might be other enemy aircraft lurking about. I fired again and again. Black smoke trailed from his engine as he flew in a steep, descending arc towards the sea. I did not follow him down and flew towards Faluja. But the sky had suddenly become quiet and empty. It was over. After I landed the armourer was peeved that I had a little ammunition left. I explained why. He pursed his lips. (Levett 1994)

The "Fiats" of course were actually the Macchi MC.205s.

Both pilots were awarded a kill of a Macchi. Doyle was also credited with a damaged Spitfire and Levett was was credited with a probable Spitfire kill. That evening, Cairo radio admitted the loss of three planes.

On Dec. 29, Doyle was leading two Spitfires when he decided to attack a what he believed was an Egyptian convoy. Only after a strafing pass that killed one soldier and wounded another did the pilots realize they were attacking Israel's Negev Brigade.

On Dec. 30, John McElroy and wingman Jack Doyle (in White 24) each shot down a MC.205V that had been strafing Israeli troops near the REAF Bir Hama air base, killing the two Egyptian pilots, S/L Mustafa Kamal Abd al Wahib and F/L Kahlil Jamal al Din al Arusi. Doyle explains:

Johnny McElroy and I were doing a recce of Bir Hama when I saw two enemy aircraft strafing our troops. I cut into their circuit and shot down the leader. The second one broke and ran with Johnny on his tail. In a short while he finished him off and we returned to base. (Cull et al 1994)

At 09:30 on the final day of the war, Jan. 7, Doyle was in a Mustang escorting 35 Flight's Harvards to attack Egyptians at Dir El Balah when they encountered eight REAF Macchis. He destroyed one and damaged another.



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