Play / pause Philip Silverman

Philip Silverman

  • Joshua Levine

Transcript

Philip Silverman was born in London in 1920.

He volunteered for the RAF at the start of the war

and he trained as an air gunner

before transferring to 158 Squadron,

which was based at RAF Driffield

in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

From Driffield, flying in Vickers Wellington bombers,

he took part in the first thousand-bomber raid of Cologne

at the end of May 1942.

Now the purpose of this raid,

when actually, 890 bombers reached Cologne,

was to overwhelm the city's defenses

by sending a huge number of bombers over

in a very, very short time.

600 acres of Cologne were flattened

at the loss of only 41 aircraft.

The following month, Philip's squadron

moved to RAF East Moor north of York

and reequipped with Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers.

And it was while returning from a night raid on Dusseldorf

on the 10th of September 1942

that Philip's aircraft was hit by enemy fire

and crashed into the sea near the Dutch coast.

Philip, who was a flight sergeant at the time of his death,

is remembered by a memorial

to him and his crew at Runnymede.

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