Special visit for RAF veteran Ron’s 100th birthday

RAF veteran Ron Philips celebrates his 100th birthday with Wing Commander Suzie Senior from RAF Honi

RAF veteran Ron Philips celebrates his 100th birthday with Wing Commander Suzie Senior from RAF Honington. Picture: SUZIE SENIOR - Credit: Suzie Senior

A Suffolk Royal Air Force veteran has celebrated his 100th birthday with some special visitors from RAF Honington.

Ron Philips of Regent Court, Newmarket, served in the RAF between 1939 and 1945 and celebrated his century on July 28.

Ron, an ex-RAF engineer, has been receiving help with his shopping and also general company from a befriender he met in Newmarket Post Office who had a link with the base and who helped arrange the visit.

To mark his war service with the RAF the party was joined by Wing Commander Suzi Senior and Warrant Office Steve Cooper, both members of the RAF Honington SSAFA In-service Committee.

They presented him with a birthday card signed by station commander Group Captain Matt Radnall.

WO Cooper chatted with Ron about his service and presented him with copies of the weekly reports for 292 Squadron written by his old flight commander Flight Lieutenant Peter Almack to bring back memories of names of many of his friends, including his best friend John Spencer ’Kiwi’ Horan – a tail gunner, who sadly lost his life in action.

Steve said: “He showed me a small photo album from his service life including one of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten and the Japanese surrender in Singapore in 1945.”

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Ron began his RAF training at Heacham in Norfolk and after training he was stationed at RAF Stranraer in Scotland. He then went to India to help train the Indian Air Force at Dum Dum Bengal.

In 1944 Ron worked as a mechanic on 292 Sqn which provided Air Sea Rescue over the Bay of Bengal and the coast of Burma. The squadron was formed in 1944 and equipped with the Walrus Amphibians, a single engine amphibious bi-plane, which were later supplemented by the more modern Sea Otter, a longer-range development of the Walrus and the last bi-plane to enter service with the Navy and RAF.

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