Image from the Evening Star – 20th December 1943.
Died: 12th December 1943; age: 23; aircraft shot down over the Bay of Biscay.
Residence: 9, Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich.
Rank: Flying Officer; Service Number: 136668
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 143 Squadron.
Relatives Notified & Address: Adopted son of Mrs. J.M. Bentley, of Ipswich.
Adopted father: Arthur Eden Bentley, born August 1865, Paddington, Middlesex – died May 1944, at 9, Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich. An Insurance District Manager – Ipswich Office.
Adopted mother: Jessie Mary Bentley (nee Beckingham), born November 1883, Heavitree, Devon.
Michael was educated at Ipswich School, before moving on to New College, Oxford, where he was a chorister – entered 1931 – left 1934.
Michael was a golfer of unusual promise. When he was 16 years old, playing from handicap 14, he won the Medal Singles in the Suffolk Golf Union meeting at Bury St. Edmund’s, a performance described as “sensational,” and in the following year reached the fourth round of the National Boys’ Golf Championship. He was credited with a schoolboy cricket century, and was a keen hockey player.
12th December 1943
Aircraft: Bristol Beaufighter MkX; serial number: JM132(T); based: R.A.F. Portreath, Cornwall. JM132 took-off at 12:00hrs with five other Beaufighters for an Interceptor Patrol over the Bay of Biscay. At 14:20hrs while flying at 3,000ft, approximately 230 miles from base the Beaufighters were surprised by five Junkers JU88’s. Before the R.A.F. aircraft could take any action two of them, JM132 and JM158 (F/O R.J. Scott & F/L S.A.Tucker) had been shot down. In the ensuring battle the remaining four Beaufighters turned on the JU88’s claiming three shot down and a fourth damaged.
Albert Cyril Lewin Phillips; Flight Sergeant/Navigator; age 34; R.A.F.V.R.
Aircraft information courtesy of John Allan