Joseph Scarisbrick "Joe" Ekbery


Distinguished Flying Cross

Born 19 November 1920 in Liverpool
Raised in Blackburn, Lancashire
Volunteered for the RAF in October 1940
After basic training he was sent to California
(In the 2nd batch of RAF pilots to train in the US)
Returned to the UK in December 1941
Attended 53 OTU, Heston
Joined 222 Squadron in May 1942 as a Sergeant
Transfered to 243 in August 1942
Then to 232 in September
Went with that unit to North Africa in November
He was shot down into the sea by a 109 on 25 Feb 1943
Commissioned in July 1943
His first tour expired in October 1943 while he was in Italy
With 322 Wing Training Flight & 244 Wing Training Flight
Posted to 145 Squadron in April 1944
Promoted to F/L & posted to 93 Squadron
His second tour expired, he was posted back to the UK
And back to 53 OTU, now at Kirton-in-Lindsey, to instruct
Then back to Heston, now 61 OTU, in June until Sept 1945
To FATU Coastal Command in fighter affiliation duties
Released from the RAF in March 1946
He joined old friends 16 January 2009

  Joe Ekbery


(The following is from an email I recently recieved from Joe's son Steve)

3 sisters and 1 brother
2 sisters were teachers and became head mistress’s.
Teresa survives and is very fit, living in Preston.
Brother George became Canon.
3rd sister (Jane) was a rebel and left home when she was young – great character!!

War Record

RAF from an ‘illegally early’ age.
Joe flew All the Spitfire Mk including Mk 9 with the massive Merlin engines. He was well decorated and has several entries in Books written about Fighter Pilots / Aces. For example:-
VENAFRO & LAGO 1944. 21st May:

At 18.20 hours 8 a/c. took off to give area cover to 24 BALTIMORES bombing in the VELLETRI area. At 18.30 Hrs. before the bombers arrived GRUBSTAKE reported 20+ Bandits E. of ROME going S. F/O J.S. EKBERY chased 3 Fw.190's fired on one in a dive at 3,000' from 200 yards hitting it in the Port Wing and Fuselage and black smoke poured from the E/A which went down from 1,000' like a falling leaf (G.0162). He then turned into a second Fw.190 and lost sight of the first. Claim 1 Fw.190 PROBABLY DESTROYED. Firing at the second E/A from 200 yards astern he saw strikes on fuselage and Wings and the pilot baled out at 1,000' at G.0162. Claim 1 Fw.190 Destroyed. He then saw a third Fw.190 turning to Port 6 miles E. of ROME at 500'. Catching him up rapidly he fired from 150 yards quarter astern striking Fuselage and Port Wing. E/A went into a vertical dive and crashed at F.9159. Claim 1 Fw.190 DESTROYED.

Flew with 222, 243, 232, 145 & 93 Squadrons

DFC Gazetted (issue 36609) 14 July 1944 - The citation reads :

Flying Officer Joseph Scarisbrick EKBERY (145863), R.A.F.V.R., 145 Sqn.
While engaged in a recent operation, Flying Officer Ekbery's aircraft formed part of a formation of 8 aircraft which attacked a force of 25 Focke Wulfs and Messerschmitt 109s. During the ensuing combat he became separated from the rest of his squadron. Seeing 6 enemy aircraft beneath him, he immediately attacked, and though alone and deep in enemy territory, he forced them to jettison their bombs and pressed home his attack with such vigor that he succeeded in destroying 2 of the enemy before himself returning unscathed. This officer is now on his 2nd tour of operational duty and has destroyed 6 enemy aircraft and damaged others.


Manweb electricity company in Liverpool before the war. After the war all Electricity companies were Nationalised and Joe worked for the ‘Electricity Board’ for the rest of his working life, moving to live in Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire in 1971 and taking up the post of Chief Engineer with Southern Electricity. He later worked for 3 years in Saudi Arabia after taking early retirement.
In Saudi Arabia Joe was responsible for setting up the Electrical Supply (the Grid) for an area equal in size to France. He enjoyed Saudi Arabia (brewed his own booze at great risk)

Played Squash, Golf and Rugby all his life (plus the associated drinking!!). Joe was still Refereeing Rugby (at County level) @ 50+yrs.

Brother – The late Canon George Ekbery

George Stephen Pasley Ekbery - Worked in Qatar during the time Joe was in Saudi, after working in South Africa (between 20 and 24 yrs old). Started International Telesystems Ltd (ITL) in 1991 and sold it to Kingston Comms Plc in 1998 (lost loads of money but employed 40 software developers and recognised as leaders in Comms Software in Europe). Later started RRI and ECL in 2002.
God Daughter, Suzanne Wendy Ogdon-Starkel, has been a constant support.

Grand Children:-
Jessica 19 yrs – happy doing this and that! Enjoying her work at Dunn & Bradsreet.
Ben 16 yrs – accepted into the Elite School of Rugby and signed contracts with Wasps. Enjoying his time at St Edwards School Oxford.


Victories Include :

7 Apr 1943
26 Apr 1943
7 May 1943

6 July 1944
16 July 1944
19 May 1944
21 May 1944
one Ju87
one Me109
u/i e/a
u/i e/a
one Me109
one Me109
one Fw190
two FW190s
one FW190
destroyed OTG
damaged OTG

6 / 1 / 1

plus  1 / 0 / 1  On The Ground


Sadly, "Joe Joe" joined old friends
January 16th 2009

Donations In lieu of flowers, may be given at the funeral in aid of the Gold Hill Housing Association, respecting the dignity of old age to the end.

1200 noon Burial service at Parkside Crematorium followed by ‘Refreshments’ at the Black Horse PH – all are welcome. Sit at Joe’s seat at your peril!


"Joe Joe" Ekbery


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Thanks go out to

son Steve for the photo & info

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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