From The Times, 27th. October 1987


Distinguished wartime service in the air

   Wing Commander Jim Hallowes, DFC, DFM, who died on October 20, at the are of 75, was a wartime pilot who was possessed of boundless skill and bravery.
   He was a flier to the core. During his finest hour he was blessed with exceptionally good eyesight, which enabled him to spot enemy aircraft before others in the formation did so. He was also a deadly accurate shot, and his final total of victories stood at around twenty-two.
   Herbert James Lempriere Hallowes was born in Lambeth, south London, on April 17, 1912. As a boy, he spent three years in the Falklands where his father was a medical officer.
   In 1928, he went to Halton as an apprentice and qualified as a metal rigger three years later. Then, in 1935, he was selected for training as a pilot and, when his training was completed, was posted to No. 43 Squadron at Tangmere. He was still with them at the outbreak of war.
   The squadron went to to Acklington in Northumberland in November 1939, and in February of the following year Hallowes was one of three pilots who shared the first enemy aircraft to crash on English soil - a He 111, at Whitby. He then went to Wick where, on April 8, 1940, he attacked another He 111, this time on his own.
   Hallowes opened fire, but after 1½ seconds the air line to his gun button broke, putting the gun out of action. He had managed to fire only about 200 rounds, but his shooting was such that both rear gunners in the enemy aircraft were dead and the pilot was so shaken up that he did not want to fly the 300-odd miles back home across the North Sea. He crashed his machine on Wick aerodrome.
   On June 1, 1940, Hallowes was in action over Dunkirk, No. 43 Squadron having returned to Tangmere. On that day he destroyed three enemy aircraft over the French beach.
   On June 7, the squadron was again in action over France, in the Abbéville area. While attacking a Bf 109, he was hit in the engine of his Hurricane, which stopped. He was undoing his straps and preparing to jump out when the enemy aircraft overshot him and was now in front. He immediately dropped himself back into the cockpit and opened fire. The German pilot baled out and Hallowes followed suit, both coming down in adjacent fields. For this action he was awarded the DFM.
   From July until September, 1940, the squadron was again flying out of Tangmere, and during these Battle of Britain months Hallowes was credited with the destruction of another 10 or 12 enemy aircraft. In one of these combats, in a sustained dive in altitude, he suffered a severe ear injury - an injury which later prevented him from taking up a post as a test pilot with Hawker Aircraft.
   It was by now clear that he was a born leader of men. He was awarded a Bar to his DFM, and was commissioned on September 18, 1940. Thereafter, he flew mainly Spitfires, from Hornchurch and other airfields, with 165 and 222 Squadrons, one of which he commanded. He was later awarded the DFC.
   By 1944 he was station commander at Dunsford, to where many of the casualties from the Normandy beachheads were brought.
   After the war Hallowes was given a permanent commission in the Secreterial Branch, where he served until his retirement in July, 1956, with the rank of wing commander. He was then with the Ministry of Transport for several years, and he eventually made his home in Farnham, Surrey. He died while on an extended holiday in Tenerife.
   Jim Hallowes was a shy and retiring man. His aircraft letter was "U" and during his RAF days he was affectionately known to his colleagues as "uncle", his call sign. In recent years he had struck up a friendship with Julius Newmann, a German pilot whom he had shot down over the Isle of Wight in the late summer of 1940.
   He is survived by his wife, Eve, and by their son and daughter.
See also "Men of the Battle of Britain" by Kenneth G. Wynn (Gliddon Books, 1989)
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first entered 27/04/2003
minor text corrections 16/07/2008