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The Airmen's Stories - F/O P P Woods-Scawen


Patrick Philip Woods-Scawen was born in Karachi (then in India) on 29th June 1916, the son of Philip Neri Woods-Scawen (1881-1955) and Kathleen Florence Woods-Scawen (nee Kelly 1886-1926).

The family returned to England in 1924 after Kathleen became unwell. Patrick and his brother Charles were enrolled at the Salesian College, Farnborough.

Patrick joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1937.



He was posted to 11 FTS Wittering on 9th January 1938 and joined 85 Squadron at Debden on 20th August. He went to France with the squadron at the outbreak of war. On 10th May 1940 Woods-Scawen destroyed a Hs126 and shared a Ju88, on the 11th shared a Do17, on the 17th destroyed a Me109 and on the 19th destroyed three more and probably a fourth. The squadron withdrew to Debden on 22nd May.

Woods-Scawen was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th June 1940). The citation credited him with six enemy aircraft destroyed in France and stated that he had baled out, slightly wounded, after destroying two enemy aircraft in a large formation.

On 29th July Woods-Scawen damaged a Do17 forty miles east of Felixstowe and had his own aircraft damaged by return fire. He claimed a Me109 probably destroyed and a Do17 shared on 26th August, a Me109 destroyed on the 28th, a Me110 on the 30th and three Me109s on the 31st.

Woods-Scawen was shot down in combat with Me109s in the Kenley area on 1st September. He baled out but was killed when his parachute failed, his body not being found until the 6th in the grounds of The Ivies, Kenley Lane.

His younger brother, Charles Anthony, was killed serving with 43 Squadron on 2nd September, the following day.

Woods-Scawen is buried in St Mary's churchyard, Caterham-on-the- Hill, Surrey.




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