AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

124 Squadron Crest
14.05.1943 No. 124 Squadron Spitfire VII EN496 Fl/Sgt. Eric J. Phelps

Operation: Patrol

Date: 14th May 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No. 124 Squadron

Type: Spitfire VII

Serial: EN496

Base: RAF North Weald, Epping, Essex

Location: English Channel, East of Deal

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Eric John Phelps 1291762 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

We are indebted to Peter Phelps who submitted this information to Aircrew Remembered in September 2014.


During a patrol off the coast of Deal, Kent it appears that he blacked out due to oxygen starvation, he quickly recovered and climbed again to rejoin his unit. Again, oxygen starvation took place, his Spitfire dived into the English Channel off Deal in Kent.


Fl/Sgt. Phelps had received his basic flying training at No. 4 BFTS (British Flying Training School) in Mesa, Phoenix, Arizona between 1941 - 1942 at Falcon Field. A friend, LAC Alex Brooks, that he trained with, was killed on the 20th October 1941. In total, 23 RAF cadets lost their lives during training here out of more than 2,000.

Taken during training at No. 4 BFTS, Mesa, Texas. LAC Phelps 2nd from cleft (courtesy Peter Phelps)

On left: Fl/Sgt. Phelps with unknown - can you identify him? (courtesy Peter Phelps) Right: With his girlfriend, Ileta Walker from Glendale, Phoenix.

One of the famous operations he was involved with was the Dieppe raid (Jubilee) on the 19th August 1942. Described as one of the RAF’s greatest air battles with the allies losing over 100 aircraft , with many others damaged. 124 Squadron lost one on this operation, Spitfire Vb flown by Sgt. J.B. Shanks, crash landing after combat, taken PoW.

Burial details: 

Fl/Sgt. Eric John Phelps. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 138. Son of Thomas Phelps, and of Adelina (‘Lena’) Phelps, of Manor Park, Essex, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Peter Phelps - Peter also has a great Facebook page dedicated to his Uncle. Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1-3, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. ‘Runnymede Memorial Data Base’

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2024
Last Modified: 19 September 2014, 22:28

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor