Rank & Name: 2nd Lt. Philip Oliphant Ray

Date of Death: 13th April 1917


Little is known of 2nd Lt. Philip Ray at this time.The following information was sourced from the Great War Forum.

"I am specifically looking for an observer, Lieut Philip Ray, who flew with 59 Squadron and died in Bloody April 1917, but even related photographs would be welcome. "

image source

"I have finally tracked down a photograph of Lt. Philip Ray. This must have been taken not long before his death as he is wearing the winged insignia of the RFC in which he had transferred. However he retains the Black Watch cap badge"

"Philip Ray, son of the Rev Robert Ray of Cellardyke, was a university student when he joined up as a private soldier. After fighting in the trenches with the Cameronians he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Black Watch before joining the Royal Flying Corps. He was an observer in the infamous R.E.8 aircraft photographing enemy lines when he was shot down and killed over Arras on April 13 1917. He was 23 years old. Most historical accounts say that all six planes of Ray’s 59 Squadron were attacked and shot down by Manfred von Richthofen’s Jasta 11 Squadron , which shortly thereafter became part of his famous Flying Circus. But an examination of the record of that squadron shows that only five R.E.8s were shot down by them that morning - and the plane not accounted for was that in which Philip Ray was flying, piloted by another Scot, Philip Bentinck Boyd.What had happened to it? In fact a lone pilot of another German squadron, Jasta 4, had joined the dogfight and shot down Philip Ray’s plane at 8.56 am on 13 April. The German pilot was Oberleutnant Hans Klein, a 26 year old German ace from Stettin who shot down a total of 22 British aircaft and went on to become a Major General in the Luftwaffe before his death in 1944." source


Further Information

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: Rest In Peace :