Fighter ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain killed

7 June 1940

Edgar 'Cobber' Kain in his air force uniform
Edgar 'Cobber' Kain, c. 1939 (Alexander Turnbull Library, PAColl-5547-011)

Hastings-born Edgar 'Cobber' Kain’s exploits flying Hawker Hurricane fighters for the Royal Air Force’s No. 73 Squadron over France in the first year of the Second World War made him a household name in Britain and the Dominions. In March 1940 he shot down his fifth German aircraft to became the first RAF air 'ace' of the war, and he was the first to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was credited with 16 ‘kills’ between November 1939 and June 1940.

Given his experiences in battle, how Kain died was cruelly ironic. He had been rested from operations and decided to mark his departure with an aerobatic display over the aerodrome at Échemines, south-east of Paris, on 7 June. He completed two low-level rolls and was attempting a third when he crashed onto the airfield and was thrown from the aircraft. He was 21 years old.

Kain was buried in Troyes cemetery. After the war his remains were moved to the Allied section of the Choloy war cemetery.

Community contributions

5 comments have been posted about Fighter ace Edgar ‘Cobber’ Kain killed

What do you know?

Roger Goddard

Posted: 02 Feb 2019

Hi Cobber Kain was a house hold name in England in the war years.. One of the family knew Lt Larry Bliesdale USAAF who flew B17 Fortress out of Nuthamsted near Langley Essex.
Larry left his black Labrador with my family who lived a Langley Hall. The dog was named COBBER in memory of Lt Cobber Kain.
I shill have a Labrador and he is called CobberKain. I think he is number 4 to carry the name.
Last year 2019 we visited Lt Cobber Kains burial site in France.
The Gloucester Gladiator that Cobber Kain flew is still flown from the Shutterworth historic aircraft collection in Biggleswade Bedfordshire. UK

Judith Hughey

Posted: 28 Sep 2018

Hi to Thomas Scott who has commented on this page. I am doing some more research into Edgar Kain's story and would like to hear about your family's connection. My email is [email protected]. It would be great to hear from you or anyone has stories and memorabilia. Thanks

Tina Southerwood

Posted: 10 Dec 2017

Amazing he did that, cobber kain is my great uncle. Tina Southerwood, new-zealand

thomas scott

Posted: 19 Nov 2012

Cobber also posted a package containing, a RAF handerchief and a tin of RAF chocolate to my late mother in South Africa which we still have

thomas scott

Posted: 19 Nov 2012

My late mother, “Rosalind Florence Bell” was a pen pal of Cobber Kain during WW2. My family have letters from Cobber to my late mother, and also the letter from Cobber’s mother to my late mother informing her of his death.