Personnel Index - Detail

Name
HIGGINS
First Names
Philip Frederick
Rank
W/O
Service
RAF
Service Number
1182127
Crew Position
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
Posting Details
Posted in 10/41 and out 11/42

 

Flew 31 operations with 49Sqn.

Awarded the DFM.

W/O Higgins was killed on 16th December 1944 and is buried in the Habbaniya War Cemetery in Iraq.



The details of the crash that killed W/O Higgins have been provided by Dr Christopher Morris the Honorary Secretary, Archivist & Editor of the RAF Habbaniya Association.

BEAUFIGHTER MkX NV558.
16th December 1944.
No:5 Ferry Unit.
Crashed on the river bank of the Euphrates.
Pilot;  F/Sgt Farrer A.J. 1331817.
Crew; W/O Higgins P.F. 1182127 and F/Sgt Oehrli M.A. 1804210.
All killed and buried RAF Cemetery RAF Habbaniya Plot 6, Row E, Graves 4,6 & 5.

After takeoff the port engine failed and the aircraft climbed slowly to 300ft.
The port wing dropped and the aircraft crashed and burnt.
Aircraft appeared to stall after slow climb.....the pilot lost control after the port engine failed.
No proof that pilot did not run up engine prior take off. 
Port engine failed due to master con rod.
See also report AIR 28/330.

Additional details of the Unit:

No5 Ferry Unit was formed on the 23rd Sept 1944 at Heliopolis, Egypt by redesignating 1 Aircraft Delivery Unit.
It was disbanded 15 March 1946 at Cairo West, Egypt.

They flew a wide range of aircraft including:
Anson, Baltimore, Vengeance, Wellington, Beaufort, Beaufighter, Warwick and Mosquito.
The ferry units ferried aircraft around, usually relocating them to new squadrons and had their own aircraft so they could ferry the crews back.

This is one reason why W/O Higgins was taking off in that aircraft from Habbaniya.