A NEW display dedicated to a real-life ‘Top Gun’ from Renfrewshire has been unveiled.

Paisley-born fighter pilot Archie McKellar was the first British serviceman to shoot down a German plane over the UK during the Second World War.

Now the squadron leader’s actions have been immortalised as part of a display at Kelvingrove Museum, in Glasgow.

Forming part of the wider Conflict and Consequences gallery, the new exhibit will show the exploits of Mr McKellar, as well as that of the rest of the 602 Auxiliary Air Force Squadron.

A number of items from the squadron’s collection have been donated to the museum for the exhibit, including a panel from the German plane shot down by Mr McKellar, on October 28, 1939.

The pilot took out the enemy craft over Humbie, near Edinburgh.

Roddy MacGregor, honorary secretary of the 602 Squadron Museum Association, was among the first to see the exhibit.

He said: “We’ve relished the opportunity to work with Glasgow Museums to create this new display.

“We hope it will add to the important conversation about the human side of conflict.”

Colin McKellar, a relation of the squadron leader, also attended. 

He said: “It is wonderful to see Archie McKellar’s story on show. I have long admired Archie’s contribution to the war effort. I am sure Archie would be quietly moved to see his squadron’s achievements marked in this way.”

The Gazette: Archie McKellarArchie McKellar

The panel will be joined by letters sent by Mr McKellar, as well as photographs and a portrait of the former fighter pilot.

Glasgow Museums curator John Messner said: “Archie’s story is a fantastic addition to the displays in the Conflict and Consequences Gallery, which give insight into the human impact of war.”

Mr McKellar was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar and the Distinguished Service Order for shooting down 21 enemy planes.

Tragically, he was killed in action after being shot down over Kent in November 1940, aged 28. 

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