T A Fox

630 Squadron

Thomas Austin Fox



Sergeant Thomas Austin Fox

1433606  630 Squadron  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

The following information was kindly passed on to me from Thomas Fox's brother Roy.

Tom was my eldest brother and he was killed in March 1944 when he was 21 and I was 8. He was the eldest and I was the youngest, of six children. I didn't know  Tom very well because he had joined the RAF in May 1941 when I was only 5 and I had always had more contact with my two sisters than our three  older brothers. However, I know that he was very sporty, fit and  strong. He was a keen amateur boxer and sparred with well-known Midland champions in the late 1930s.

Tom left school  at 14 and trained as a butcher under my father who was a Master Butcher  with a business in partnership with his brother in Stourbridge Market  and a shop in Kinver. Tom went on to work for the famous local company  of meat purveyors, sausage and pie manufacturers, Marsh & Baxter,  before developing an interest in the Air Training Corps and leaving the  meat trade to work at RAF, Hartlebury.

He volunteered  for war service and joined the RAF in May 1941, firstly as a motor  cyclist and despatch rider, before training for air crew and gaining  promotion to Sergeant in August 1943. He wanted to be a pilot but at  only 5 feet 1 1/2 inches in height, he was considered too short and  trained as a gunner.

His regular  letters to my sister, who was in her mid-teens at the time show him to  be a very affectionate, caring and amazingly mature young man who  enjoyed life and had many friends and interests. He obviously worked  very hard on courses to gain his promotions and showed great  determination. He clearly understood the difficulties at home with  businesses to run - my two other brothers also by this time having  joined up - and with young children to look after and for all of my  adult life I have wished I could have known him better. My father died  within three years of Tom's death and I have often wondered how things would have been for our family if Tom had survived.

In his letters he mentioned his fellow crew members, the Canadian, Jim Overholt and George Plowman.  He also mentioned reaching the finals of the fly-weight division of an inter-squadron boxing tournament in March 1943.

In letters he  received he was often addressed as "Freddie" as were others with the  surname Fox at that time, after the famous jockey of the 20s and 30s.




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