The following pictures are mainly from Phil's private collection. Phil was born in 1918 and after attending Hathern School and Loughborough Grammar School was an apprentice fitter at William Spiers Hosiery Machinery Manufacturer in Leicester before joining the RAF in 1938 and doing initial training at Cranwell. After this he was  based at RAF Bomber Command at Scampton near Lincoln until he was killed in action on August 6th 1941 along with his three fellow crew members when shot down by a German night fighter 30 km from Arnhem in Holland. 

phil logbook cover

Phil's log book which you can see here in full contains all training and operational flights made as Observer and Air Gunner as part of 83(B) Squadron based at Scampton near Lincoln and flying the Handley Page Hampden bomber.

From February 1939 Phil started training and by April was practising low and high level bombing and air firing. Flights to and from other RAF bases continued during 1939 followed in 1940 by an attachment in Lossiemouth. Live sorties started in mid-1940 each taking about 5-6 hours and including nightflights. Targets included Frankfurt. Hamburg and the river Elbe. Following a rest period Phil spent some time on base as an instructor but resumed flying in August leading to the final entry dated August 5th, with an annotation in log book 'Failed to return'. Phil was one of 55,573 men who died flying with Bomber Command during WW2.

phil logbook final entries

Amongst Phil's collection shown above were two of the leaflets that the RAF dropped over Europe in the psychological warfare campaign. The newspaper report also shown above mentions that Phil was involved in this activity. Fortunately there is a site psywar.org that contains details of all such leaflets including the translation from German. Below are the links to the two leaflets, the first of which refers to three of the most famous German U-boat Commanders including Gunther Prien 'The Bull of Scapa Flow' :-

 Finally, amongst Phil's collection there are two letters home than contain more than a little of the gallows humour that you would expect from youngsters involved in such a dangerous occupation. In the first letter Phil regrets missing the excitement of Boston being bombed and reports that 'the kites have just returned and we are crossing more names off the living list'. However after German bombers had attacked the base he was looking forward to some refreshment in the Leagate Inn down the road now a popular base for tourists wanting to explore ‘Bomber County’. In the second letter seemingly sent just before his penultimate flight (to Kiel) Phil enquires about the beer situation in Loughborough and comments that 'The Soviet are still keeping the Hun away'.  As a post script to his letter Phil says 'I am still short of socks'.

The International Bomber Command Centre is near Lincoln  and its Wall of Names contains all its servicemen who lost their life. Its database online also contains details of these men including Sgt. Alexander Phillip Price, D.F.M. which shows that his last flight was to Mannheim.

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