1. Dublin man Brendan Paddy Finucane was amongst the top fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain, which took place in the summer and autumn of 1940.
2. His father Andy was an IRA volunteer, who fought during the Easter Rising of 1916.
A pilot climbs into a Spitfire to mark 75 years since the Battle of Britain's "Hardest Day" when bases came under attack from the German Luftwaffe. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
3. When his family moved to England he signed up to fight for the British Royal Air Force, but he was an Irishman through and through- he even had a shamrock on his plane
4. He rose though the ranks rapidly. At just 21 years old when he was made a wing commander. To this day, he is the youngest ever to hold that rank.
Two RAF pilots flying a bomber. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
5. By the time the Battle of Britain began in 1940, he was in action and flying Spitfires.
6. Despite being a proud Irishman, Finucane knew he was fighting for the Crown. He wanted to help fight the Nazis, and he knew if they invaded England, then they would invade Ireland too.
7. Despite being a poster boy for the British airforce and lauded as a hero (he was awarded for gallantry by the king), at home in Ireland he was unknown because of censorship during the war, and completely forgotten after it.
Spitfires and Hurricanes perform a fly past in Biggin Hill, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
8. He was a poster boy for the war in Australia and America too. The New York Journal hailed him as the "fighting Gael" and the Chicago Herald carried a front-page picture of him under the headline: "Flying Shamrock terror of the Nazis." Yet according to Finucane’s nephew of the same name, QC Brendan Finucane, his uncle didn’t like the limelight.
9. In one radio interview he described a terrifying hit that almost killed him: "The cockpit was awash with blood. It was not until I was feeling a bit sick and dizzy did it dawn on me that it was my blood!"
10. He survived the Battle of Britain but was shot down later by the Germans over the English Channel by the a “one million shot”. By the time he died, had 26 kills to his name. His body was never recovered.
Source information and images courtesy of BBC Northern Ireland.