Philip Louis Ulric Cross was born on 1st May 1917 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. After high school, he worked on Trinidad’s railways but his real love was aviation. With the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, and the Fall of France the following June, the young Trinidadian saw the situation demanded action:
"The world was drowning in fascism and America was not yet in the war, so I decided to do something about it and volunteered to fight in the RAF."
Ulric Cross arrived in Britain in November 1941, and for a full year trained as a navigator. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and then posted to 139 (Jamaica) Squadron at Marham. This unit was so named because it was equipped with bombers paid for by the people of Jamaica.
Pilot Officer Cross excelled as a navigator and he was selected to join the élite Pathfinder Force. These crews had the difficult and dangerous task of marking targets accurately for bombing raids. Cross was promoted to Flying Officer and, in June 1944, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). In 1945, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in recognition of his ‘fine example of keenness and devotion to duty’ and his ‘exceptional navigational ability’. Cross twice refused to be rested from duty and by the end of the war he had successfully completed 80 bombing operations against targets in Germany and occupied Europe.
Cross left the RAF as a Squadron Leader in 1947. He practised law in Ghana and Tanzania and subsequently became a High Court Judge in his native Trinidad. In 1990, he was appointed High Commissioner for Trinidad in London and Ambassador to Germany and France. Ulric Cross passed away at the age of 96 on 4th October 2013.
An Officer from Trinidad, Squadron Leader Cross, Honour Earl, 1945 (FA00930)