Brian Carbury, the son of a veterinary surgeon, was
born in Wellington on February 27 1918. The family later moved to Auckland
where he attended King's College from 1932 to 1934, before becoming a shoe
salesman at the Farmers' Trading Co., Auckland.
In 1937 Carbury went to England with the intention of
joining the Royal Navy. However, when told that he was too old, he applied
for a short service commission in the RAF and was accepted.
In June 1938, his flying training completed, Carbury
joined 41 Squadron, flying Hawker Furies. In August 1939 he was attached
to 603 Squadron, stationed at Turnhouse, near Edinburgh. This unit was
part of the Auxiliary Air Force, whose members - both pilots and ground
staff - were only part-time airmen, doing their service in the evenings,
weekends and on a two week annual summer camp. Carbury's task was to
assist with Spitfire training. As war approached 603 was organised for
full-time service and Carbury's temporary attachment was made permanent in
On 16 October a section of 603 was scrambled and shot
down a Junkers Ju-88 bomber into the sea east of Dalkeith, the first
German aircraft to be shot down over British territory since 1918. Carbury
probably destroyed an He III on 7 December and claimed a third share in
the destruction of another during January 1940.
The next seven months were comparatively uneventful in
Scotland and it was with some feeling of relief from the frustration of
inactivity that 603 moved south to Manston on August 27 1940. Two days
later Carbury shot down his first Bf 109, on the 30th another and on the
31st he destroyed two He III's and three more Bf 109's. In one of these
actions he was slightly wounded in the foot. With three more 109's
destroyed in September Carbury was awarded the DFC.
Successful actions against Bf 109's continued in
October. On the 2nd he destroyed one over the Thames Estuary and sent
another one down south-east of London on the 7th. Three days later Carbury
was leading his section when he saw twenty Bf 109's on their way back to
France. The three Spitfires attacked and Carbury shot down two of the
enemy fighters, one going into the sea and the other crashing on the beach
at Dunkirk. He damaged a Ju 88 on 14 October.
In late October Carbury was awarded a Bar to the DFC,
one of the few pilots given the double award during the period of the
Battle of Britain. With his claimed destruction of fifteen enemy aircraft
and another shared during the Battle, Carbury was among the five
top-scoring pilots in RAF Fighter Command.
603 Squadron returned to Scotland in December 1940. On
Christmas day Carbury was scrambled to intercept a Ju 88 reported off St
Abb's Head, inflicting damage before the German aircraft turned for home.
Early in 1941 Carbury was posted to be an instructor
and did not fly operationally again. After leaving the RAF he lived in
England until his death in July 1962.