Philip Edward Nixon was the son of Edward and Flora Nixon, of Oldham, Lancashire and the husband of Ivy Nixon. He enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps and volunteered for airborne forces.
Corporal Nixon successfully completed his training and was posted to 63 (Airborne) Composite Company, Royal Army Service Corps, and took part in Operation Market Garden (Arnhem).
Cpl Nixon was in the crew of RAF 271 Squadron, Dakota KG-374, based at Down Ampney. The aircraft was hit by Flak while on a re-supply mission and crashed at Reijerskamp, north of Wolfheze at 15.16 hours on 19 September 1944. The following details appeared in the ‘London Gazette’ of 13 November 1945: “On September 19, 1944, F/Lt Lord was pilot and captain of an aircraft detailed to drop supplies to our troops, who were closely surrounded at Arnhem. For accuracy this had to be done at 900 feet. While approaching the target at 1500 feet the aircraft was severely damaged and set on fire. F/Lt Lord would have been justified in withdrawing or even abandoning his aircraft but, knowing that supplies were desperately needed, he continued on his course. Twice going down to 900 feet under very intense fire, he successfully dropped his containers. His task completed, he ordered his crew to abandon the aircraft, making no attempt himself to leave. A few seconds later the aircraft fell in flames, only one of the crew surviving.”
Cpl Nixon was killed in action on 19 September 1944, aged 29, and was initially buried along with the other crew members alongside the aircraft. He was re-interred to Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on 22 August 1945.
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