Barran Philip 609 *

Flight Lieutenant Phillip H Barran AAF – 609 Squadron

Philip Henry ‘Pip’ Barran was born at Chapel Allerton, Leeds in 1909. By early 1937 he was a trainee mining engineer and manager of a brickworks at a colliery owned by his mother’s family.

He joined 609 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force that year and was appointed ‘B’ Flight Commander early in 1939, the Squadron converting to Spitfires shortly before war broke out.

Barran was called to full-time service on 24 August 1939 and promoted to acting Flight Lieutenant on 14 October 1939. He was detached to RAF Northolt in November for a 10-day Air-Fighting Course and then two further courses in early 1940. Unfortunately he was to become one of the earliest casualties in the Battle of Britain. On 11 July 1940 his aircraft, Spitfire L1069, was severely damaged in a morning combat with Me109’s of III/Jagdgeschwader 27 having been bounced whilst flying convoy protection off Portland Bill.

Barran tried to reach the coast but was forced to bale out five miles short and he landed in the sea. He was picked up, wounded and badly burned, but died before reaching land. He was 31 years of age.

One of 609’s original pre-wais buried in Lawnswood Cemetery, Leeds.


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