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Air Marshal Sir Philip Lagesen (502146)


Philip Jacobus              b:   25 Aug 1923                     r:  25 Aug 1980                     d:  9 Oct 1995

KCB – 16 Jun 1979 (CB – 15 Jun 1974), DFC – 13 Jul 1945,  AFC - 13 Jun 1959, FIMgt (FBIM), MiD – 11 Oct 1955, QCVSA – 6 Nov 1956.

Flt Lt: 12 Nov 1951, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1957, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1962, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1966, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1970,  Act AVM: 29 Sep 1972, AVM: 1 Jan 1974, AM: 1 Jul 1978,

Photos - AVM Lagesen during the AFI at Gatow in 1975. 

Photos courtesy Wg Cdr C G Jefford ©

xx xxx 1952:            QFI, Rhodesia Air Training Group.

xx xxx 1953:            Served in Kenya.

 1 Apr 1953:            Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

xx xxx 1955:            Pilot, No 50 Sqn. (Canberra – Binbrook/Upwood)

xx xxx 1957:            Student/Instructor, RAF Flying College

21 Aug 1959:           Personal Staff Officer to C in C, British Forces Arabian Peninsula.

 1 Aug 1962:            Officer Commanding, No 12 Sqn.

20 Jul 1964:             Wing Commander - Operations, HQ No 1 Group.

 3 Nov 1966:           Officer Commanding, RAF Tengah.

 6 Jun 1969:             Group Captain - Personnel, HQ Strike Command.

 1 Sep 1970:            Director of Operations (Strike).

29 Sep 1972:           SASO, HQ Strike Command.

24 Nov 1973:          Deputy C in C, RAF Germany.

29 Nov 1975:          AOC, No 1 Group.

30 Sep 1978:           AOC, No 18  Group

30 Sep 1978:           Commander Maritime Air, Eastern Atlantic Area & Channel Command.

 Born in Johannesburg, he joined the South African Air Force during WW2.  He joined/transferred to the RAF in 1951 being commissioned as a Flt Lt.  Initially he was retained in Africa, first in Rhodesia and later  Kenya.  However, he moved to Britain in 1955 when he was posted to No 50 Sqn.

 Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Lieutenant Philip Jacobus LAGESEN (203584 V), S.A.A.F., 31 (S.A.A.F.) Sqn.

This officer was the second pilot in an aircraft detailed to attack the Parona rail/road bridge at Verona. Soon after leaving the target area the aircraft was attacked by a fighter.  Evading action was taken but the aircraft was hit by a burst of machine gun fire. Much damage was sustained.  A fire commenced in the rear of the aircraft.  Being unable to communicate with other members of the crew, owing-to the unserviceability of the inter-communication system, Lieutenant Lagesen went aft to investigate. He found the rear gun turret on fire. The rear gunner lay   wounded just outside the turret. Animuniton was exploding intermittently. Despite this, Lieutenant Lagesen fought strenuously to overcome the flames and finally subdued them by means.of extinguishers.  He then turned his attention to aiding his wounded comrade. Just then, another fighter closed in. Lieutenant Lagesen promptly manned the beam gun and assisted the mid-upper gunner to drive off the attacker. Fire again broke out in the rear of the aircraft. All the effective extinguishers had been used. Nevertheless, Lieutenant Lagesen tore down and threw out some burning material and then beat out the remainder of the fire with his hands. This officer set a splendid example of courage and coolness in the face of great danger.”

(London Gazette – 13 July 1945)

Citation for the award of a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air

“Flight Lieutenant Philip Jacobus Lagesen, D.F.C (502146), Royal Air Force.

In recognition of his courage and determination in completing a mission when his aircraft was partially out of control”

(London Gazette – 6 November 1956)

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