1. ITV Report

Olympian Spitfire ace commemorated in Oxford Dictionary

Wartime RAF Spitfire ace and three time Olympic Champion Don Finlay has made it into the latest update to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Finlay, an Olympic hurdler, is among a selection of new entries on figures in the history of Olympic sports in Britain. He has been described as "the greatest athlete you have never heard of".

Finlay jumping the hurdles Credit: RAF

He took took bronze in the hurdles at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, after a photo-finish (having originally been placed fourth); then silver in the same event in Berlin in 1936, when he was British team captain.

Finlay competed again at the London Games in 1948, when he took the Olympic oath at Wembley Stadium on behalf of all the competitors. Grey-haired and nearing forty, he was remarkable in the late 1940s for clocking times equal to his pre-War records.

Finlay taking part in the 110 meters hurdles Credit: RAF

During the Battle of Britain, Finlay ( 1909-1970), was in Fighter Command, flying Spitfires, bringing down three enemy aircraft. He continued flying during his promotions and as acting Wing Commander, shot down a Messerchmitt in a head on attack in March 1942. He remained on active service throughout the war, and then served at RAF Halton, in Buckinghamshire until his retirement in 1959.