The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. P A Hunter
Philip Algernon Hunter, of Chesham, Buckinghamshire was born in Frimley, Surrey on 11th April 1913. He was educated at King's School in Canterbury, Rosslyn House in Felixstowe and Bishop's Stortford School.
He joined the RAF on a short service commission in September 1931, carrying out his flying training at 5 FTS Sealand.
Hunter joined 25 Squadron at Hawkinge on 29th August 1932. He was posted to Ismailia on 28th February 1933 to join 6 Squadron. Back in the UK in 1936, Hunter was posted to the staff at RAF College Cranwell on 9th November. He moved to the staff at CFS Upavon on 24th March 1937.
Above: 264 Squadron airmen photographed in May 1940. L to R (standing): P/O Hickman, F/Lt. Cooke, S/Ldr. PA Hunter, P/O MH Young, P/O GH Hackwood, P/O EG Barwell, P/O SR Thomas, P/O D Whitley.
(Seated): F/Sgt. ER Thorn, P/O DHS Kay, Sgt. AJ Lauder, P/O RW Stokes)
In March 1940 Hunter took command of 264 Squadron at Martlesham Heath. With LAC FH King as his gunner, he had a run of successes in May 1940. On the 12th they destroyed a Ju88, on the 27th a Me109 and a shared He111, on the 28th two Me109's, on the 29th a Me109, a Me110 and a Ju87 and on the 31st a Me109, a He111 and
Hunter was awarded the DSO (gazetted 14th June 1940).
On 24th August 1940 Hunter's Defiant, N1535, was last seen in pursuit of Ju88's, following an attack on Manston. He and King were not heard from again.
Hunter was 27 years old and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 4.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner