Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00408C - P.V.K. Tripe Papers

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P.V.K. Tripe Papers


  • 1909 - ? (Creation)

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Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

11 boxes, 5 books

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Philip Valentine King (PVK) Tripe was born on Ottawa on 24 July 1918 to Ethel Teresa (Davison) and Valentine King Tripe. He had two older sisters, Margaret Helena King Tripe (b. 1912) and Marian Florence King Tripe (b. 1915). He attended Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa and attended St. Barnabas Anglican Church on James Street. PVK Tripe met Elizabeth Ann Rannie (b. 13 October 1920) at Constance Bay on the Ottawa River in 1936. He began taking flying lessons at the Ottawa Flying Club in 1938 and received his Private Pilot’s Certificate of Competency on 3 November 1938. He was unable to join the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as an officer without a university degree, and decided to join the Royal Air Force (RAF) instead; leaving for England in the winter of 1939 and arriving on 6 March 1939. He applied to join the RAF and reported for training 3 April 1939. He developed undulant fever from contaminated milk in the summer of 1939, and returned to Canada on 13 October 1939 on sick leave. He recovered and returned on 13 November 1939. PVK was granted the rank of Pilot Officer on 16 December 1939. Elizabeth Rannie traveled with her father Leslie Rannie to England in February 1940, and Elizabeth and PVK were married in the Parish Church of Moreton Sayr on 6 March 1940, nearby where he was stationed at Tern Hill, Shropshire. Elizabeth and her daughter, Anne (b. 1940), would live in Chester throughout the war with family friends – the Pickmeres. PVK Tripe flew continuously throughout the war, accumulating 1221 flying hours, with over 600 hours as a Spitfire pilot. He provided fighter protection at Dieppe and the Schweinfurt- Regensburg Raids, and flew observational sorties at Normandy. PVK was promoted to Flying Officer on 23 July 1940 and Flight Lieutenant a year later, serving with 65 squadron during the summer. In October 1942, he was posted to 222 ‘Natal’ Squadron as a Flight Commander. In September 1943, he was promoted to command 129 Squadron. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 25 January 1944. In August 1944, he was posted to commanding officer of 130 ‘Punjab’ Squadron. He was transferred to the RCAF in December 1944. On 16 January 1945 his Spitfire XIV was hit by US anti-aircraft fire while he was attacking motor vehicles near Malmedy and caught fire, he bailed out safely and suffered minor injuries. He was sent back to Canada in April 1945, with Elizabeth and Anne returning in June. PVK remained in the military and was posted to CFB Trenton in 1946, and conducted additional training in Kingston and the Staff College in Toronto, before being posted to the Pine Tree Line radar base at Lac St. Denis, PQ. The family was posted to Trier, Germany in 1953 and lived in Echternach, Luxembourg, until they returned to Canada in 1956. He was posted to the St. Hubert RCAF base in Quebec, and then to Brunswick, Maine from 1960-1963. PVK Tripe worked with NORAD in North Bay and Colorado Springs, afterwards he retired in 1969 to North Bay, where he worked in real estate. PVK Tripe died as a result of an accidental drowning when he fell through the ice, while iceboating, on 31 December 1982.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Anne Tripe Crossman

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection contains material relating to the lives and experiences of PVK Tripe and his wife, Elizabeth Rannie Tripe, during the Second World War. This includes logbooks, diaries, telegrams, letters and photographs from this period encompassing the experiences of both active service and the homefront. The collection notably contains PVK Tripe’s flying logs, which outline every hour he spent in the air between 1939 and 1945 and also includes squadron transfers, locations, missions and type of aircraft, as well as Elizabeth Tripe’s diaries from 1943 and 1944, with earlier selections from June 1941 and May 1942. Of particular note are telegrams received by Tripe after he was awarded the DFC, as well as letters written back to Canada by Elizabeth Tripe. Albums put together by Elizabeth Tripe, both prior to and during the war, outline her courtship with Tripe, their wedding and her life in Chester, as well as family members and friends. Loose photographs from throughout the war showcase Tripe in casual and professional shots, posing with squadron-mates, friends and airplanes at bases in England, Wales and Belgium. The collection also holds significant artefacts relating to PVK Tripe’s military career, of especial significance, includes pieces from his destroyed aircraft which were recovered by Karel Baetan and gifted to his daughter, Anne Tripe Crossman in 2013, his miniature dress medals, pins, cap badge and scarf, as well as pilots license and passports.

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Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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