Burbridge, Bransome Arthur
- Date of birth:
- February 5th, 1921 (East Dulwich/South London, Great Britain)
- Date of death:
- November 1st, 2016
- Service number:
- British (1801-present, Kingdom)
Branse Burbridge lived in Knebworth when war broke out, at which time he was working for Royal Exchange Insurance. At first he was a conscientious objector, but, coming to the view that the war was a just cause, he joined the Royal Air Force in September 1940 and after completion of training was posted to No. 85 Squadron on night fighters in October 1941. He flew Havocs on his first tour, scoring just a single claim, but when he returned to 85 Squadron for a second tour - this time on Mosquitos, he was far more successful. During the period of the build up to the invasion of Normandy, and after, together with his radar navigator, Bill Skelton, he claimed 21 victories in a ten month spell. In June 1944 he also shot down three V-1s.
Both Burbridge and Skelton left the RAF in December 1945 to study at Oxford an Cambridge respectively, both then entering the Christian ministry. Burbridge went on to become a full-time worker for Scripture Union. After a long and varied career in the service of others, Branse Burbridge lived in his retirement in Oxford.
July 1st, 1941: Pilot Officer (probation)
July 1st, 1942: Flying Officer (war sub)
July 1st, 1943: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
July 17th, 1945: Squadron Leader (war sub)
??: Wing commander
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- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Flight Lieutenant
- No. 85 Squadron, Royal Air Force
- Awarded on:
- June 2nd, 1944
"This officer has taken part in very many sorties and has set a fine example of skill and resolution. He has shown the greatest keenness to engage the enemy and has shot down 4 enemy aircraft at night. Flight Lieutenant Burbridge has rendered much loyal and devoted service."
"As pilot and observer respectively these officers have completed many sorties and have destroyed 7 enemy aircraft. They have displayed outstanding keenness, great skill and gallantry, setting an example worthy of the highest praise."
Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the Ribbon of the first DFC, awarded simultanuously to Burbridge and his Navigator, Flight Lieutenant Frank Seymour Skelton.
"These officers are pilot and observer of aircraft respectively. They have completed a very large number of sorties and throughout have displayed
keenness and devotion to duty of the highest standard. They have destroyed 14 enemy aircraft, 4 of them during a recent sortie at night. This feat well illustrates their superb skill and unbeatable determination."
Awarded simultanuously to Burbridge and his navigator/observer Flight Lieutenant Frank Seymour Skelton.
"As pilot and observer respectively these officers have completed well over a hundred sorties and throughout have set an unsurpassed example of determination and devotion to duty. They have now destroyed 20 enemy aircraft at night, successes which are a fine tribute to their outstanding skill and courage. On a number of occasions their own aircraft has sustained damage during a fight with the enemy but each time Squadron Leader Burbridge has flown back to base and landed safely. One night early in January, 1945, was the occasion on which they shot down their twentieth enemy aircraft."
Second DSO awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO, awarded simultanuously to Burbridge and his navigator/observer Flight Lieutenant Frank Seymour Skelton.