In 1952, Sergeant Phillip Zupp was flying a Gloster Meteor fighter jet over Haeju on the Korean Peninsula when disaster struck. Nearby, “Butch” Hannan’s jet had been hit, forcing the Flight Lieutenant to hit the eject button.
And as the 26-year-old Zupp searched for his fallen colleague, he too was struck by enemy fire, but despite being wounded, managed to make it back to his base at Kimpo.
While it could easily be the script for the latest blockbuster movie, the events were all too real for Zupp and what happened next would lead to the awarding of Australia’s first Purple Heart from the US military.
The remarkable story of courage and tenacity has been chronicled in a biography of Phillip Zupp’s life written by his son Owen.
“Without Precedent” is Owen Zupp’s sixth book. It is currently available as an e-book on Amazon and iTunes, while paperback and hardcover versions should be available at bookstores and online retailers shortly ahead of a formal book launch in late July.
In addition to being an author, Owen is a commercial pilot with 30 years experience and also an Australian Aviation contributor.