The RAF chief who masterminded victory in the Battle of Britain believed he could communicate with the ghosts of fallen pilots.

Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding wrote to a parliamentarian claiming he had “conversations” with dead airmen. He also described one message addressed personally to him from one of “The Few” who had been killed in action in 1940.

It was sent to Lord Beaverbrook, who was Minister of Aircraft Production from 1940 to 1941. Dowding wrote: “I wonder if you would like to see a number of messages from men killed on the battlefield in this war.

“They are extraordinarily vivid and interesting. They came from men killed in Greece, Crete and Libya, in the Malay jungle and on the high seas.

RAF Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding
Hugh Dowding, right, marching in his RAF uniform

“They also include messages from airmen killed in action and there is one from a Battle of Britain pilot addressed to me personally.”

The letter, dated April 25, 1943, has emerged for sale with International Auto-graph Auctions, of Malaga, Spain. Richard Davie, of the auction house, said: “Reading the letter is truly staggering.

"This is the Chief Marshal who led us to victory in the Battle of Britain and just two years later, while the war is still waging, he is writing about hearing spirits.”

Lord Hugh Dowding
Lord Hugh Dowding believed in fairies and reincarnation

At the time of the letter, Dowding was also writing a book in which he defended his belief in the afterlife. He wrote of encounters with “RAF dead boys” who visited him in his sleep.

The Air Chief Marshal also described his belief in fairies and reincarnation.

He died aged 87 in 1970. His letter is being sold in an online auction tomorrow (Friday) and is expected to fetch £1,500.

To stay up to date with all the latest breaking news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here .