Pilot Officer Ross Ferrier PHILP

Service No: 426260
Born: Brisbane QLD, 20 March 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 May 1942
Unit: No. 161 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Tempsford
Died: Air Operations: (No. 161 Squadron Stirling aircraft LK238), Denmark, 7 October 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Gording Churchyard, Denmark
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Roslyn Foster Bowie Philp and Marjorie Alice Hewson Philp, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2229 hours on the night of 6 October 1944 Stirling took off from Tempsford detailed to carry out a Special Operations Executive (SOE) mission on Operation Tablespan 26, and the aircraft headed for Denmark. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down by a JU88 and crashed between Gording and Vemb a small town 17kms west south west of Holstebro, Denmark. Pilot Officer Philp was killed in the crash, two crew members were taken prisoner and the other four evaded capture.

The crew members of LK238 were:

Squadron Leader G E Abecassis (115865) (RAFVR) (Pilot) PoW
Pilot Officer L N Flower (184079) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Evaded capture
Flight Lieutenant R R Gee (112388) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Evaded capture
Pilot Officer P J Maloney (173441) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) Evaded capture
Pilot Officer Ross Ferrier Philp (426260) (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer K G Walker (117336) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air) PoW
Pilot Officer S C Woodham (148803) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) Evaded capture

In a later report Squadron Leader Abecassis stated “The aircraft was set on fire and I decided to crash land. Philp went forward to the nose of the aircraft just before impact and in my opinion Philp lost his life when the aircraft crashed. The Inter com was put out of action as a result of the engagement, and I consider that my orders must have been misunderstood by Philp and that there was no time for any warning to be conveyed to him.”
Flight Lieutenant Gee in his report stated: The aircraft was attacked by a night fighter at 100 feet and the aircraft set on fire. The Intercom was unserviceable and impossible to convey warnings to other crew who were not in crash positions when the aircraft crashed. The aircraft filed with smoke
and fumes which made it impossible to ascertain the fate of other members of the crew while still in the aircraft. The crew all escaped except Philp. Fire and the danger of exploding bombs made search for Philp impossible.”


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, 166/32/512

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