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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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102 squadron crest
06/07.09.1941 No. 102 Squadron Whitley V Z6574 DY-B P/O. Croucher

Operation: Hüls (now part of the city of Krefeld, Germany)

Date: 6/7th September 1941 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No.102 Squadron

Type: Whitley V

Serial: Z6574

Code: DY-B

Base: RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire.

Location: North Sea, 60 miles N.E. of Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

Pilot: P/O. John Rhodes Croucher 63106 RAF Age ? Missing

Co Pilot: Sgt. John Richard Tugman 1288767 RAFVR Age 20. Missing

Obs: Sgt. Henry Leslie Benjamin Morphett AUS/407093 RAAF Age 23. Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Alan Leonard Halsey R/52691 RCAF Age 22. Missing (1)

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Glover R/56903 RCAF Age 25. Missing (2)


P/O. Croucher and crew took off at 20:34 hours as part of an operation to bomb the synthetic rubber plant at Hüls.

Nothing further was heard from the crew until they were on the return journey over the North Sea when a distress transmission was received.

A short while later, at approximately 01:35 hours, a second transmission was received advising that they were about to ditch in the sea.

Although a solid fix on their position was obtained and the Air Sea Rescue Service dispatched immediately, a 24 hour search of the area provided no sign of the aircraft or crew.

Sgt. Morphett, who was posted to 102 Squadron from No.10 OTU, had been with the squadron just twelve days when lost.

It is thought probable that this aircraft was shot down by Uffz. Heinz Grimm (3) of 4./NJG1. The Whitley air gunners did return fire during the combat and hit Uffz. Grimm in the thigh, both him and his Bordfunjer, Ogefr. Meisnner were forced to bale out of his Bf110 C-4 to the north of Franeker.

Above left: Sgt. Henry Morphett (courtesy National Archives of Australia), Right: Fl/Sgt. John Glover (courtesy A Place of Honour - Manitoba's War Dead)

(1) Halsey Lake in northern Ontario is named after Fl/Sgt. Halsey.

(2) Glover Lake in Manitoba is named after Fl/Sgt. Glover.

(3) Uffz. Heinz Grimm (pictured above) became an ace with 25 night and 1 day kills before he died of wounds sustained on the 8/9th September 1943, his aircraft being hit by flak over Bremen.

Burial Details:

P/O. John Rhodes Croucher. Runnymede Memorial Panel 32. Details of Next of Kin not currently unavailable.

Sgt. John Richard Tugman. Runnymede Memorial Panel 53. Son of John Upton Tugman and of Hilda Mary Tugman of Timperley, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. Henry Leslie Benjamin Morphett. Runnymede Memorial Panel 62. Son of Henry Louis Albert and Isabella Morphett; husband of Lois Grace Morphett of Unley Park, South Australia.

Fl/Sgt. Alan Leonard Halsey. Runnymede Memorial Panel 60. Son of Leonard Halsey and of Violet May Halsey of St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.

Fl/Sgt. John Glover. Runnymede Memorial Panel 60. Son of Samuel and Annie Glover of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and RCAF specialist Colin Bamford for relatives of this crew. With thanks to Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', National Archives of Australia and A Place of Honour - Manitoba's War Dead.

KTY 01.11.2015 Serial number corrected - courtesy Jack Brook

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 30 January 2017, 01:09

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