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Gp Capt Frank Carey, CBE DFC

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Remembered by: The RAFBF

Date added: 16 Apr 2007

A Second World War fighter ace, he was born in London on May 7, 1912 and died on December 6, 2004, aged 92.

Beginning his RAF career as a boy apprentice in the late 1920's at the age of 15, Frank Carey worked for a number of years as a mechanic before becoming a pilot. Then, progressing from sergeant pilot to group captain in the space of five years, he became one of the RAF's most successful fighter aces, his final tally of combat victories being almost certainly a good deal higher than the 25 victories and three shared kills with which he is officially credited.

This tally is the more remarkable in that much of Carey's air fighting was done during the British withdrawal from Burma in 1942 when the Japanese held all the cards in the air, and the RAF was on the rack, shunting from airfield to airfield and sustaining crippling losses of aircraft and equipment. But Carey proved to be a remarkable pilot and a good shot, and he led his Hurricane squadron inspirationally in the difficult and demoralising conditions of a headlong retreat.

Carey was three times married. His first marriage, to Kathleen (Kay) Ivy Steele, of which there were two daughters, was dissolved. He married in 1947 Bertha Kathleen (Kate) Walters Jones. She died in 1991, and he married in 1993 Marigold Crew-Read. He is survived by her, by one daughter of his first marriage and by a stepson and stepdaughter of his third. A daughter predeceased him.
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