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The Airmen's Stories - F/O B J G Carbury


Brian John George Carbury, the son of a veterinary surgeon, was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 27th February 1918. He was educated at New Lynn and Kings College, Auckland and excelled at athletics. Giving up his job as a shoe salesman, Carbury went to England in 1937 and successfully applied for an RAF short service commission.

He began his flying training on 27th September and after passing out in June 1938 he was posted to 41 Squadron, operating the Hawker Fury at Catterick.

Just before the outbreak of war Carbury was attached to 603 Squadron to assist with Spitfire training. His temporary posting became permanent in late September 1939.



On 7th December he damaged a He111 and on 7th March 1940 he shared in the destruction of another He111 east of Aberdeen. On 3rd July Carbury shared a Ju88.

603 Squadron flew south to Hornchurch in late August and on the 28th he damaged a Me109 and in the three days from the 29th to the 31st he claimed seven Me109s destroyed. On 2nd September he shot down a Me109, on the 7th two more and probably a third, on the 11th a probable He111 and on the 14th another Me109.

On 2nd October Carbury destroyed a Me109, on the 5th he damaged another, on the 7th shot one down, on the 10th two more and on the 14th he damaged a Ju88. Carbury's tally during the Battle of Britain of 15 enemy aircraft destroyed, 2 probables, 1 shared and 3 damaged place him among the five top-scoring pilots of Fighter Command.

He is one of the few who were awarded the DFC (gazetted 24th September 1940) and Bar (gazetted 25th October 1940) during the period of the Battle.

603 Squadron returned to Scotland in December and on the 25th, flying from Drem, Carbury damaged a Ju88 north of St. Abb's Head. On 30th December 1940 Carbury was posted to 58 OTU Grangemouth as an instructor.

He did not fly operationally again but served as an instructor until he left the RAF in 1944 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Carbury remained in England after the war.

In 1961 Carbury was diagnosed with leukaemia and died in High Wycombe Hospital on 31st July. He was cremated at Breakspear crematorium, Ruislip.

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