Flying Officer Barry Mortimer COX

Service No: 260706
Born: Summer Hill NSW, 9 October 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 February 1940
Unit: No. 75 Squadron, Port Moresby PNG
Died: Air Operations (No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-47), Port Moresby, 28 April 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Paul Gee Cox and Kathleen Isobel Cox; husband of Alwyn Theodora Cox, of Reid, Canberra.
Roll of Honour: Canberra ACT
Remembered: Panel 9, Port Moresby Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 103, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Flying Officer Cox’s combat record claims are one bomber destroyed (21 March 1942 – co-claim with Flight Lieutenant Wilbur Lawrence Wackett (588)) and one fighter destroyed (11 April 1942).

On 4 April 1941, Flying Officer Cox was involved in an aircraft accident in which Corporal William Barry Ramsay (207668) was killed.

On the morning of the 28th No. 75 squadron’s five serviceable aircraft took off to meet an enemy force of eight bombers with fighter escort. Squadron Leader Jackson led the flight, the other four pilots being Flying Officers Brereton (1), Cox, Masters (2) and Sergeant Cowe (401769). They intercepted the Japanese bombers at 22,000 feet to find the Zeros flying in close cover except for two which were “standing off”. In tight formation the five Kittyhawks made a rear attack on the bombers. The leading Zero dived on Jackson’s Kittyhawk. To evade the attack Jackson stalled his aircraft and spun down, the other four pilots following his example. In the battle that followed Jackson and Cox both lost their lives, one of them having first shot down a Zero. Brereton’s Kittyhawk was damaged and he was severely wounded, but he succeeded in landing safely. When Masters pulled his Kittyhawk out from its spin he found himself some distance out to sea to the south-east of Port Moresby. As he turned back to base he sighted what he took to be a submarine for which several Dauntless aircraft later searched in vain.

(1) Squadron Leader John LeGay Brereton (260697) was discharged from the RAAF on 21 August 1945.
(2) Flight Lieutenant Peter Addison Masters (407330) was discharged from the RAAF on 5 April 1945.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 546


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9300, Cox B M


Wilson, D. (David) The Decisive Factor: 75 and 76 squadrons Port Moresby and Milne Bay 1942, Banner Books Brunswick VIC 3056, 1991
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Spitfire, Mustang and Kittyhawk in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1988

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