Warrant Officer Douglas Frederick PHILLIPS

Service No: 401394
Born: Drumcar, Ireland, 4 August 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 2 February 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 131 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Harrowbeer, Devon
Died: Air Operations: (No. 131 Squadron Spitfire aircraft MK935), off the English Coast, 23 April 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son or Thomas Frederick and Elizabeth Catherine Phillips
Roll of Honour: Drouin VIC
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1700 hours on 23 April 1944 Spitfire MK935 took off from Harrowbeer on a defensive sortie near the coast. After patrolling for some time over the Channel on vectors given by Control, the section was ordered to investigate ‘something’ at 5 miles ahead and nought feet. At this time the Section was flying at 1,600 feet and above 10/10ths cloud. Warrant Officer Crawford (Section Leader) (RAF) ordered Warrant Officer Phillips to remain above the clouds while he went down in an attempt to get below the cloud. Being unsuccessful, he returned above to find that Warrant Officer Phillips had disappeared. Receiving no reply as to the position of his No. 2 and deeming an immediate air search impossible due to the cloud, Warrant Officer Crawford returned to base. A Sea Rescue search was conducted that evening, but searches by aircraft that evening or the next morning was not possible. It was presumed that the aircraft had crashed into the sea 30 miles south east of Bolt Head and it was recorded in 1949 that Warrant Officer Phillips had lost his life at sea.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/32/365

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