The Airmen's Stories - P/O E W Aries
Ellis Walter Aries joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot on 23rd July 1938. He was called up on 1st September 1939. After completing his training he was commissioned and arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 10th June 1940 to convert to Hurricanes.
He joined 263 Squadron at Drem on 23rd June where it was reforming after losing most of its pilots when the carrier HMS Glorious was sunk while returning from Norway.
On 5th July 1940 Aries joined 602 Squadron, also at Drem. He went south with the squadron to Westhampnett in mid-August. On the 26th Aries claimed a Do17 destroyed off Selsey Bill.
He claimed a Do17 shot down near Biggin Hill on 7th September. His own aircraft, Spitfire K9839, was damaged by return fire and Aries made a crash-landing at Wrotham, Kent.
He only flew one more sortie with 602, an uneventful patrol on 14th September in Spitfire X4269. He was then grounded for health reasons and to use his own words 'I was put in charge of a room full of registered mail at Tangmere as a supernumerary'.
Aries eventually returned to flying and became an instructor.
He was awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1945) and at the end of the war he was serving at the Empire Central Flying School.
Released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant, Aries was commissioned in the Auxiliary Air Force in April 1947 as a Flying Officer serving with 604 Squadron on flying duties.
He died in 1976.