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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. P T Wareing


Philip Thomas Wareing was born on 20th December 1915 and educated at Bishop Veseys Grammar School at Sutton Coldfield. He joined the RAFVR in May 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot and was called to full-time service on 1st September 1939.

With his flying training completed he joined 616 Squadron at Leconfield in June 1940. On 22nd August he claimed a Me109 destroyed. Three days later he was in combat with Me109s over Canterbury in Spitfire K9819 and after scoring hits on an enemy fighter, he pursued it across the Channel. Hit by coastal flak, he was obliged to bale out near Calais-Marck airfield.

He was immediately captured by a motorcycle and sidecar patrol and taken to a nearby Luftwaffe airfield.



Having been a member of the German Alpine Club before the war he was well treated and presented with gifts of cognac, cigarettes and chocolate before being taken to Brussels and thence by air to Dulag Luft near Frankfurt. After interrogation, he went to Stalag Luft I at Barth, moving on 18th April to Stalag Luft III at Sagan.

In late September 1942 Wareing volunteered to go as an orderly with a group of Officers who were being sent to Oflag XXIB Schubin as a punishment for their escape activities. Orderlies were allowed out to Schubin railway station to collect parcels, rations and coal, with only a few guards. On his third outing, on 16th December 1942, Wareing slipped away. Two days later he reached Graudenz, hoping to board a Swedish ship but was unlucky, so he made his way to Danzig. On the 20th he managed to board a Swedish ship, which was loading coal.

Germans searched the ship before it sailed but Wareing remained hidden. He came up for air on the 23rd and was seen by crew-members, who continued to hide him and brought him bread and water. The captain found out and on reaching Sweden, he handed Wareing over to the police. The British Consul at Gothenberg was informed and on 28th December Wareing was taken to the British Legation in Stockholm.

Wareing flew out on 5th January 1943 to Leuchars. Debriefed at the War Office, he then spent several months lecturing. Commissioned from Warrant Officer in July 1943, Wareing was awarded the DCM (gazetted 14th December 1943).

He spent the rest of the war as an instructor and was released from the RAF in late 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Still in the RAFVR in 1949 he was recalled to serve as a traffic control officer in Hamburg as part of the Berlin Airlift.

Wareing died in May 1987.



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