The Airmen's Stories - F/O G J Cox
Graham James Cox was born in Sparkhill, Birmingham on 20th June 1919 and attended Solihull School. He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training at 23 E&RFTS Rochester on 28th December 1938.
He was on No. 11 Course at 10 FTS Tern Hill, which ran from 20th March to 14th October 1939. Cox joined 152 Squadron at Acklington directly from 10 FTS at the end of his course.
On 20th July 1940 Cox's Spitfire, K9883, suffered a burst tyre on returning from action over Convoy Bosom. The undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft skidded across the airfield. Cox was unhurt.
On 12th August 1940 he shared a Ju88, on the 13th got a probable Me110, on the 18th shared a Me109 and on the 21st shared a Ju88.
Cox claimed a Me110 destroyed on 27th September, one damaged on the 30th and Ju88s damaged on 7th and 19th October.
He destroyed a He111 on 27th May 1941 and with his tour completed he was posted away and awarded the DFC (gazetted 17th October 1941).
F/Lt. RMD Hall in later life recalled 'Cocky' Cox in 152 Squadron as 'Tall, fair haired ....... a veteran. He was a very friendly sort of person and sensitive enough to gauge the uneasiness of others who felt not quite at home such as me. He was a complete extrovert. He was always ragging like an overgrown schoolboy and he had an apparently inexhaustible supply of energy. He was conscientious and thorough to the point of fanaticism in the air'.
Returning to operations in September 1942, Cox went to 501 Squadron at Middle Wallop as a Flight Commander.
In May 1943 he was posted to 43 Squadron at Mateur, Tunisia. The squadron moved to Malta on 8th June. On a bomber-escort to Gerbini, Sicily on 4th July Cox destroyed a Me109. On the way back he decided to fly at low level and he and his No. 2 attacked a train at Vizzini station and blew up the engine.
On the 5th he was promoted and took command of 229 Squadron at Krendi. On 10th July he destroyed three Mc200s.
In October 1943 Cox was posted away for a rest. He returned to operations in February 1944 when he took command of 92 Squadron at Marcianise in Italy. Cox destroyed a Fw190 and damaged another on 13th May and destroyed a Ju188 on 21st July.
Posted away in August 1944, Cox was awarded the DSO (gazetted 10th October 1944).
In 1945 he served as a Forward Controller in Italy. He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Squadron Leader.
He flew as a civilian in India and, in 1951, went to live in Calgary, Alberta, where he worked for Mobil Oil.
On 14th February 1968 Cox was piloting Cessna 182H CF-WUK over Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada when it became uncontrollable due to ice forming on the wings. The aircraft came down in the lake and Cox and his two passengers, William Henry Lucus and Kenneth McIntosh McMillan,were killed.