Lossie’s ‘Flying Can Openers’ receive a link with their past

The nephew of a second world war hero made a very special visit to RAF Lossiemouth recently to present 6 Squadron with an important historic artefact.

Geoff Hillier was accompanied by his wife Rosemary when they called in to visit the Squadron at the Moray base to present a second world war gong that had belonged to Mr Hillier’s uncle, Flight Lieutenant Philip ‘Pip’ Hillier DFC.

Flt Lt ‘Pip’ Hillier was serving with 6 Squadron as a flight commander when he earned his DFC after destroying 13 tanks.

His citation read: “In June 1942 this officer participated in two sorties against a column of enemy armoured vehicles near Sidi Rezegh.

“On his first sortie, in the face of heavy fire, he made four low level attacks on the target, hitting several tanks.

“On his second sortie he flew so low that part of the tail, unit snapped off on the turret of one of the vehicles he attacked.

“Despite the damage sustained to his aircraft he flew it safely to base. Flight Lieutenant Hillier played a gallant part in the operations which were attended with much success.”

Unfortunately Flt Lt Hillier was killed just two months later not in action but while demonstrating the tactics used by the squadron – nicknamed the ‘flying can-openers’ – to the press.

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