Cunningham, “Cats Eyes” John, DSO and DFC

Group Captain John “Cats Eyes” Cunningham was a n RAF night fighter ace during World War Two.

John joined 604 Squadron RAF in 1935. At the outbreak of the war, he was based at North Weald flying Blenheims on day escort and night fighter operations. In September 1940, he converted onto Beaufighters equipped with radar, the first aircraft that made night fighting really possible. In November of that year, he had the Squadron’s first successful night combat. He took command of 604 Squadron in August 1941. After a period at HQ81 Group, he was posted on his second tour to command 85 Squadron equipped with Mosquitoes. In March 1944 with 19 night and one day victory, he was posted to HQ11 Group to look after night operations.

The Spitfire Association