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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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414 Squadron crest
06.06.1943 No. 414 Squadron Mustang I AP172 F/O. Laurence A. Doherty

Operation: Escort duty

Date: 6th June 1943

Unit: No. 414 Squadron RCAF

Type: Mustang I

Serial: AP172

Code: ?

Base: RAF Portreath, Cornwall

Location: South of Bishops Rock, Celtic Sea.

Pilot: F/O. Laurence Aloysius Doherty J/7468 RCAF Age 25. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taken from the Squadron ORBs (Operational Record Book):

Took off at 1845hrs. from Portreath to carry out escort duty and arrived at 17.30hrs. At about 20.30 hrs F/O. Hutchison heard his No. 2 give a very brief warning that they were being attacked. He took immediate evasive action and saw F/O. Doherty's aircraft going into the sea at a steep angle with black smoke pouring from it. At the time of the attack the aircraft were flying at about 50 - 75ft. 

Above: F/O. Laurence Aloysius Doherty with Turney Williams (courtesy Christopher Clarke and the George Burroughs collection)

F/O. Hutchison was then attacked by each of the three enemy aircraft which he identified as Fw. 190's. Attacks continued for approximately 20 minutes during which he fired two bursts but did not observe strikes. Enemy aircraft abandoned the attacks and he continued to escort the ship. During the combat the ship was not attacked. The ship then returned on a reciprocal course and was escorted back to her base. F/O. Hutchison did not leave the ship although he had almost exhausted his petrol and finally landed with 17 gallons of fuel left.

The crew of the ship observed F/O. Doherty's aircraft being shot down - his aircraft going into the sea approximately 250 yards astern of them. They put about at once but no traces of the pilot or aircraft could be found.

F/O. Doherty will be missed greatly by the squadron as he was an exceptionally good pilot and Larry's enthusiasm and keenness were only exceed by his unfailing good humour.

No. 414 Squadron pilot line up - On the prop: Colin ‘Chick’ Davidson, On the wing:  F/O. Raymond Charles MacQuoid (1), Standing L-R: Gordon Zetterstrand, Fl/Lt. Miskelly, Bill Blakney, George Burroughs, Stuart Chapman, Charles Stover, F/O. Laurence Aloysius Doherty (2), David Bernhardt, F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel (3), F/O. Louis Phillip Theriault (4), F/O. Hugh Douglas Steeves (5). Seated: Fred Clarke, Jack Godfrey, Roy Begg, Jack Amos, Bod Sanderson (courtesy Christopher Clarke). 

Mustang AP172 is thought to have been shot down by Lt Hans-Ulrich Tartasch of 8./JG2 35 miles South of Bishops Rock at 20.35hrs.

Left: Runnymede Memorial Panels (Air-Rem archives)

Burial Details:

F/O. Laurence Aloysius Doherty. Runnymede Memorial Panel 173. Son of Thomas Arthur and Mary M. Doherty, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Researched with thanks to Mr Christopher Clarke in Canada and also the daughter of George Burroughs, Brenda for the supply of information and the superb photographs.

(1) F/O. Raymond Charles MacQuoid J/5801 414 Squadron - killed 01st April 1943
(2) F/O. Laurence Aloysius Doherty - this page
(3) F/O. Frederick Leroy Vaupel J7420 414 Squadron - killed 17th June 1943
(4) F/O. Louis Phillip Theriault J/13595 414 Squadron - killed 21st August 1943
(5) F/O. Hugh Douglas Steeves J/7474 414 Squadron - killed 27th March 1943

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: 19 October 2014, 20:54

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