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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. P H Tew


Philip Harry Tew was born on 19th February 1913 in Leicester, his family later moved to North London and he was educated at Finchley County School.

He joined the RAF in September 1929 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in August 1932 as a Fitter, Aero Engines. He later volunteered for aircrew and served as an Air Gunner with 600 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at Hendon.

He was selected for pilot training and trained at 3 FTS Grantham between September 1935 and July 1936.


54 Squadron

Sgt. JK Norwell, F/O DAP McMullen, F/O CF Gray, F/Sgt. PH Tew

P/O JL Allen, F/O AC Deere, F/Lt. JA Leathart, F/O BH Way, F/O DG Gribble


His first posting was 65 Squadron, operating Gladiators at Hornchurch. In March 1939 they were replaced by Spitfires.

65 was engaged in sorties over France and Belgium after the German attack on 10th May and Tew was posted to 54 Squadron, also at Hornchurch, later that month. On 26th May he probably destroyed a Me110 over Dunkirk and claimed a Do17 on the 28th. On 8th August he claimed a Me109 destroyed and shared a Me110 and on the 18th he shared another Me110.

Tew was rested on the 20th August and posted to 57 OTU as an instructor, later going to CFS Upavon.



Commissioned in May 1942, Tew served as an instructor until 1948, for which he was awarded the AFC (gazetted 10th June 1948) and retired from the RAF on 19th February 1963 as a Squadron Leader. 

He died in 1984.

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