Bio / Text:
Ivor Henry Cosby was born in London on 19th August 1919 and educated at Bournemouth School. He learned to fly in 1938 at Air Service Training at Hamble and joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot.
He went into the RAF on a short service commission in May 1939. With his flying training completed, he joined 13 (Army Co-operation) Squadron in France in April 1940.
After the heavy fighting from 10th May the depleted squadron withdrew by road in late May to Cherbourg, then to England by sea and on to Hooton Park to reform.
In August 1940 Cosby volunteered for Fighter Command. He went to 7 OTU Hawarden on 23rd August and after converting to Spitfires joined 610 Squadron on 3rd September.
On the 20th Cosby moved to 72 Squadron, also at Biggin Hill. On the 23rd he shared in destroying a Me109. In October, when 72 went to Leconfield to reform, Cosby was posted to 222 Squadron at Hornchurch, arriving on 4th November 1940. When the squadron went to Coltishall on 11th November he joined 602 Squadron at Westhampnett.
On 28th December Cosby was posted to 141 Squadron and he joined it at Gravesend on 6th January 1941. During the night of 15th/16th February 1942 he damaged a Do217 and on 25th August, with Plt Off LA Komaroff as radar operator, he destroyed a Ju88 south of the Isle of Wight.
Cosby remained with 141 until January 1943, when he went to 51 OTU Cranfield as an instructor. After an air gunnery course at CGS Sutton Bridge he went as Chief Gunnery Officer at 60 (Night Intruder) OTU at High Ercall in March 1943.
A return to operations came in September 1943, with Cosby going as a Flight Commander to 264 Squadron at Fairwood Common.
He had a run of night successes. On the night of 13th June 1944 he destroyed a He177, on the 17th a Fw190, on 3rd July a Ju188, on the 11th a Do217 damaged and on 3rd August a Ju88 destroyed. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 4th August 1944) being then credited with four enemy aircraft destroyed.
In 1945 Cosby was made OC Admin 6502 Air Disarmament Wing in Germany and in 1946 he joined 98 Squadron, flying Mosquitos.
Granted a Permanent Commission in August 1947, he had a long post-war career, holding various staff appointments and commands, including 151 Squadron and RAF Aldergrove, before retiring on 19th August 1974 as a Wing Commander.
He died in September 1994.
Cosby's portrait was drawn by Cuthbert Orde in the mess at Biggin Hill in October 1940.
He was the younger brother of ET Cosby, who flew in the Battle with 3 and 615 Squadrons.