Philip Valentine King Tripe

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Phil Tripe
Phil Tripe & "Elizabeth" - named after his wife Elizabeth Ann Rannie


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TRIPE, S/L Phillip Valentine King (42279) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.129 Sq.
Awarded as per London Gazette dated 25 January 1944.
AFRO 644/44 dated 24 March 1944 - Canadian in the RAF
Air Ministry Bulletin 12703/AL.741 refers.

This officer has led his flight and squadron during an extended tour of operational duty and has proved himself an extremely capable leader. During his operational career he has personally destroyed two enemy aircraft and shared in the destruction of a number of others. On 17th August 1943 he was chiefly responsible for the destruction, by his wing, of five enemy aircraft. His outstanding ability is reflected in the fighting efficiency of his squadron.


Born in Ottawa, 24 July 1918;
Educated at Lisgar Collegiate.
Pupil pilot, RAF, 1 May to 23 June 1939.
Appointed Acting P/O on Probation, RAF, 24 June 1939
Confirmed as Flying Officer, 16 December 1940;
as Flight Lieutenant, 16 December 1941;
as Squadron Leader in 1943;
No.10 FTS under training to 8 June 1940;
to No.7 Bombing and Gunnery School, 8 June 1940
    (Flight Commander of Whitley Flight);
to No.56 OTU, 14 April 1942;
to No.411 Squadron, June 1942;
to No.65 Squadron, December 1942;
to No.222 Squadron, February 1943;
to No.129 Squadron, September 1943;
to No.57 OTU (instructing), November 1943;
to No.2 Tactical Exercise Unit (Hurricanes), February 1944;
to No.130 Squadron, 6 June 1944.
Commanding as of 11 September 1944 until 16 January 1945)
Transferred to RCAF, 22 December 1944 (C89529).
Remained in postwar force (numbers 20466 and 431-171-024)
Reverted to Flight Lieutenant, 1 October 1946;
Promoted Squadron Leader, 1 January 1948;
Promoted Wing Commander, 1 January 1960;
Retired 22 April 1970 to North Bay.

Drowned 31 December 1982 following an ice boating accident
on Trout Lake in North Bay, Ontario.

NOTE: His application for Operational Wings, dated 12 June 1945, stated that he had flown with Nos.411, 65, 222 and 129 Squadrons, June 1942 to November 1943 (248 operational hours) but does not clearly indicate when he went from one unit to another. However, leave records indicate he was with No.411 Squadron from at least 11 August 1942 until 26 December 1942; he took leave while with No.222 Squadron in May 1943, and while with No.129 Squadron in October 1943. His second tour, June 1944 to January 1945, was with No.130 Squadron (96 hours). The document then lists his sorties by date, duty and time flown. The first sortie given is 17 August 1942 (Fighter Sweep, Bereke-sur-Mer and Wamport, one hour 15 minutes) and the last is 20 November 1943. The total number of sorties is 148 including four on 19 August 1942 ("Fighter Umbrella for Dieppe Raid: 1.45" - "Close Escort Two Bostons laying smoke screen Dieppe, 1.40" - "Fighter Sweep Protection, Boats returning from Dieppe, 1.30" and a repeat of the previous, 1.30). There is a long break between 6 December 1942 and 5 April 1943 followed by intense operations including three trips on each of the following days: 24 June 1943, 4 July 1943, 22 August 1943, 6 September 1943, 8 September 1943, 9 September1943, 18 October 1943. The second tour sorties run from 8 June 1944 to 16 January 1945 (56 sorties).

Form dated 15 January 1953 gives times as follows:

Spitfire -
Whitley -
Tiger Moth -
Anson -
Hurricane -
Harvard -
Battle -
Lysander -
Defiant -
Blenheim -
Magister -
C-45 -
Master -
Avro Cadet -


411 Sq. pilots shortly before the Dieppe "Do"
411 Sq. pilots shortly before the Dieppe "Do."
Tripe is standing 2nd from left, Buck McNair is 4th & Gord Lapp 5th


Canadian Leader of Punjab Squadron Hit

By Denis Martin, The Royal Gazette and Colonist, Monday, Feb. 12, 1945, Hamilton, Bermuda - WITH THE SECOND TACTICAL AIR FORCE BELGIUM, Feb. 11 (Reuter) - The leader of this celebrated “Punjab” Spitfire squadron, wounded by flak after a strafing mission of Germany, thrown out of his cockpit and baling out into the slipstream, managed to drift back into the Allied lines and land on the doorstep of his favourite “pub” (tavern).
  He is Squadron Leader P.V.K. Tripe, Distinguished Flying Cross, of 325 James Street, Ottawa, and he is now on his way back to Canada.
  The mission had yielded about five motor transport and one tank when Tripe’s aircraft was hit and the mainplane ripped open. Five pieces of shrapnel lodged in his right arm. Tripe nursed the aircraft towards the Allied lines, when a heavy explosion on the starboard side stripped the fuselage and wing. Tripe stood up in the cockpit and let the slipstream whip him into the air as the Spitfire turned into the death roll. Landing by parachute near a wood, Tripe recognised that he was almost on top of a roadhouse only a few miles from the aerodrome. Pilots of the Spitfire wing had held a nightly rendezvous at the inn for some weeks and the patron gave Tripe and enthusiastic receptions.
  “Nice of you to come so early” he shouted but when he saw that Tripe was wounded he brought out a bottle of his best cognac – not the stuff sold over the bar – and called up an army truck. Tripe has completed over 1,200 flying hours and left for Canada after a brief stay in hospital.

Phil Tripe and the No. 222 NATAL Squadron scoreboard sometime in 1943
The C/O, Phil Tripe & Pat Lardner-Burke with the 222 Natal Squadron scoreboard, 1943


Victories Include :

22 June 1943
4 July 1943
16 July 1943
17 Aug 1943
19 Aug 1943
31 Aug 1943
4 Sept 1943
27 Sept 1943
22 Oct 1943
one FW190
one FW190
one FW190
two Me109Gs
1/2 Me109
one FW190
one Me109
one FW190
one Me109G
(Flakee Island)
(10M ESE Abbeville)
(E Hulst & Tholen)
(Sluis area)
(SW of Lille)
(S Mardy/Audruicq)
(Bernay area)
(Arras area)


3.5 / 1 / 4   or   2.5 / 2 / 4

[a] - There is a combat report for this claim but strangely, no mention in his logbook. The combat report has a request to upgrade to destroyed but I do not know the result.

[b] - His logbook shows a probable on this date - "Ramrod to Abbeville". Same target as the combat report of the 4th. I figure it's the same claim, so we'll call it such here ... a probable with a chance of destruction. Awful large discrepancy though ...

[c] - "I was leading Blue Section of 222 Squadron and our Wing was flying on the starboard side of the bombers going in over the Westerschelde estuary.
When I sighted 10/12 e/a going in a westerly direction at only 5/7,000 feet. I reported them to the Wing Leader at the same time leading my section down in a dive. Four of the e/a remained at about 5,000 feet, the remainder climbed to 7/8,000 feet and turned 180° to starboard. My section climbed away from the original four coming up astern of the top 8 e/a. I chose the last e/a, an Me 109 G, closed to 400 yards, fired ½ second burst from ¼ astern, closed further to approximately 250 yards, fired again, and on this burst I saw a strike on port aileron and near the port radiator. The e/a flicked slightly to port and went down in a long diving turn so I followed and saw him hit the ground at an angle of about 30° about 10 miles North of Hulst. I broke away, climbed again to between 3/4,000 feet, passed Blue 3 (F/O Hesselyn) who was firing at an Me.109 which he subsequently shot down (I saw this pilot bale out), and chased a further 109 in front of Blue 3's 109 eventually closing to roughly 300 yards, and fired about 1 second burst from dead astern, which blew his port radiator off. He streamed glycol and his engine appeared to stop and I overshot but followed the 109 down to 1,000 feet, where I saw him crash in a field 2 miles N.E. of Tholen.
I then climbed and rejoined Blue 3 and 4 over Flushing at about 23,000 feet and returned to forward Base (Manston).
I claim 2 Me.109G's destroyed."

[d] - "I was leading Blue section when we were north of Knocke at 27,000 ft. Blue 3 (Ray Hesselyn) reported enemy aircraft below near Knocke. I led the section down in a dive and we bounced the 2 Huns at 14,000 ft. recognizing them as Me.109g's. As I was about to open fire I saw strikes on the e/a's port wing and realized Blue 3 was also attacking. I opened fire from 300 yards astern, closing to 50 yards. The fuselage and belly of the e/a was a mass of flames and smoke, the starboard wing outboard of the cannon broke off and I had to push the stick hard forward to avoid collision. The e/a went down disintegrating and well on fire, and the pilot did not bale out."




Thanks to daughter Anne Crossman for the updates, photos and corrections !
Anne has been uploading lots of great stuff from her Dad's war years.
She's got logbook entries and combat reports, diaries, pix.
You can check it out by clicking HERE

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