RAF uniform to Air Cdre. J.L.W. Ellacombe, Battle of Britain pilot

RAF uniform to Air Cdre. J.L.W. Ellacombe, Battle of Britain pilot

Code: U27610

SOLD

Rare service dress uniform to Air Commodore John Lawrence Wemyss Ellacombe (43031), C.B., D.F.C. & bar, M.B.I.M.   He was born in Livingstone, Rhodesia on 28th February 1920, educated at Diocesan College, Cape Town, South Africa and joined the RAF in 1939 on a short service commission, training to be a pilot at No.2 F.T.S. at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.  He joined 151 Squadron on 14th July 1940 on Hurricanes and shot down a He111 over Hornchurch on the 24th August.  Six days later he shot down another He111 before force landing his damaged aircraft in the field adjacent to his adversary only to be accosted by the farmer, pitchfork in hand!  The following day Ellacombe's Hurricane, P3312,  was hit by return fire from a Ju88, the fuel tank exploding as he baled out.  To add insult to injury he was fired upon by a member of the Home Guard as he drifted towards the ground whereupon he was marched to the local police station.  Ellacombe was eventually admitted to Southend General Hospital with facial burns.  Following rest and recuperation he rejoined the squadron around Christmas time 1940 and remained with 151 throughout 1941.  In February 1942 he was posted to 253 Squadron at Hibaldstow as a Flight Commander.  Ellacombe flew on the Dieppe operations in support of the Dieppe landings.  During a low level strafing sortie he was hit by flak and ditched his aircraft but was picked up by Allied shipping.  On 7th April was awarded the DFC, his citation stating 'This officer is a keen and courageous fighter pilot.  Although he was severely wounded in the Battle of Britain, Fl. Lt. Ellacombe immediately resumed operational flying upon recovery.  He has carried out numerous flights by night in all weather conditions and he has destroyed 2 and probably a further 2 enemy aircraft'.  Following further rest he converted to Mosquitoes and joined 487 (New Zealand) Squadron as Commanding Officer (CO).  He attacked V-1 rocket sites in the Pas de Calais and flew sorties in support of the D-day landings before being awarded a bar to his DFC.  In September 1944 he was appointed CO of No 2 Squadron at No.60 OTU.  Postwar he remained in the RAF, largely with Fighter Command, serving in Aden and leading 1 Squadron, flying Meteors.  In November 1962 he was appointed CO of the Fighter Development Unit tasked with the development of tactics for the Hunter and Lightning.  He was later CO at RAF Linton on Ouse and became the senior service representative at the Defence Operational Analysis Establishment.  On promotion to Air Commodore in 1968 he was appointed Air Commander of Air Forces, Gulf before becoming Director of Operations, Air Defence and Overseas.  Ellacombe retired in April 1973 and became Director of Scientific Services at St. Thomas's Hospital in London.  A keen cricketer and golfer, he was still playing the latter three times a week in his late 80s.  He died on 11th May 2014.
Here we are offering Ellacombe's No.1 Service Dress tunic and trousers with the rank of Air Commodore,  tailored by R.E City Ltd. (London).  It has a beautiful padded Queen's crown pilot wing, staybrite belt buckle and Queen's crown buttons, Air Commodore rank lace on the cuffs and medal ribbons for The Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Companion's (C.B.),  Distinguished Flying Cross & bar (D.F.C.), 1939-45 star & Battle of Britain rosette, Air Crew Europe star & France/Germany rosette, Defence and War medal.  There are also stitched loops above the ribbons on which his medals could be mounted.  The tunic comes with matching trousers by the same tailor.  Both the tunic and trousers are labelled, clearly named to Ellacombe as a Group Captain, and dated March 1964.  He evidently kept the same tunic when he was promoted and had the rank lace changed accordingly.  Light soiling and a couple of very small moth holes, otherwise in excellent condition.

An extremely rare opportunity to purchase a uniform belonging to a Battle of Britain pilot.  Stock code U27610.