Squadron Leader J J Lynch, Commanding Officer of No. 249 Squadron RAF, sits in the cockpit of his Supermarine Spitfire Mark VC at Krendi, Malta, as an airman chalks "Malta's 1,000th" below his victory tally. Lynch, an American who joined the RAF in 1941, served with No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF in the United Kingdom before being posted to 249 Squadron in Malta in Novembe 1942. He became a flight commander in early 1943 and was given the command of the Squadron in March. He enjoyed much success during operations over the sea route between Sicily and Tunisia, and, on the 28 April 1943, shot down a Junkers Ju 52 five miles north of Cap Cefalu which was assessed as being the 1,000th enemy aircraft shot down by Malta-based units since the start of the war. Lynch transferred to the USAAF in July 1943 having scored 10 and 7 shared victories with the RAF.