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The Airmen's Stories - AC1 J R Phillipson


John Ross Phillipson was born in mid-1922 in the Glanford Brigg rural district of Lindsey, Lincolnshire, the son of Arthur Milner Phillipson and Irene Houlden Phillipson (nee Parry).

His father had served in the Machine Gun Corps.

After leaving school he was employed as a Junior Assistant in the Companies Sales Office of the Bata Shoe Company.

Phillipson joined the RAF in July 1939 as an Aircrafthand. He served in France with the AASF as a ground radio operator. Back in England in early June 1940, he volunteered for aircrew duties of a secret nature. After a short radar course at Yatesbury he was posted to 604 Squadron at Gravesend on 10th July.

He served with 604 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain and was promoted to Sergeant on 28th October.

Flying with John Cunningham on 19th November 1940, Phillipson assisted in the destruction of a Ju88, Cunningham's first victory. On 23rd December and 3rd January 1941 he assisted in destroying He111s, both times with Cunningham.



Above image courtesy of


In 1942 Phillipson was serving with 89 Squadron in the Middle East. He was killed on 5th January 1943 in a flying accident as a Warrant Officer.

Beaufighter Mk.1 X7691 crashed in a sandstorm following engine failure 8 miles east of Abu Sueir whilst overloaded with two extra passengers.

Also lost were:

F/Sgt. (Pilot) DL Harris

F/Sgt. RW Almond
Corporal C Costello

The award of the DFC was gazetted on 19th February 1943 after his death.

The citation stated that he had recently taken part in the destruction of three enemy aircraft. Phillipson is buried in Moascar War Cemetery, Egypt.









Photographs courtesy of Colonel C R Romberg RA, British Embassy Cairo.



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