The Lieutenant Alan Thornton story (1942)
Interviewed for MAOHP - 12/12/2016
Reference Code: IE_MA_MAC_006_MAOHP_013_D
Location(s): Shannon Airport
Tony Kearns, a civilian historian to the Irish Air Corps has spent over fifty years researching and writing about the organisation. In this clip which comes from the second in a series of interviews undertaken by Michael J. Whelan, Tony discusses a little known piece of Air Corps history. He speaks about a Walrus plane which was stolen by Lieutenant Alan Thornton to fly to France in order to join the German army in 1942. He speaks about the conditions for Fighter Squadron in Rineanna where Thornton was held under house arrest. Tony explains that British aircraft intercepted him and forced him to land at Cornwall. Thornton was then taken back to Ireland under arrest and jailed for six months. He was later dishonourably discharged but went and joined the Allied Forces and became a fighter pilot. The Interviewer states that Thornton did an interview with Marian Finucane of RTE Radio. This event occurred in January 1942. It also seems that Thornton got sixteen months in prison for his offence. Thornton spoke on the Marian Finucane Show on RTE Radio in 2005. It seems that the plane in Yeovilton Museum is the one stolen by Thornton.