On 10th September, 1965, a formation of Mystere aircraft took off for an operational mission on the western border. When the formation reached the target area, a large numbers of enemy tanks were spotted and intensive barrage of anti-aircraft fire was encountered. Despite a concentrated barrage and against heavy odds, Squadron Leader Patrick Russel Earle led the formation to engage the enemy. When two aircraft of the formation had to abandon the attack because they were too close to turn in, Squadron Leader Earle and his No. 2 orbited at low height to provide cover for the second attack. While doing so, Squadron Leader Earle's aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and there was a hole of about 4 in diameter in the center of the fuselage. The aircraft caught fire and the hole enlarged to about 12 in diameter. Despite this, Squadron Leader Earle did not bale out but brought back the aircraft to base safely, with the fire warning light on all the time.
Squadron Leader Patrick Russel Earle displayed courage and professional skill.