31/01,06.1944 No. 161 Squadron Hudson III V9155 MA-Q Fl/Lt. Hale
Date: 31/01st June 1944 (Wednesday/Thursday)
Unit: No. 161 Squadron (3 Group)
Type: Hudson III
Base: RAF Temsford
Location: South of Gilze, Belgium
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Warren Macauley Hale J/6948 RCAF Age 24. Killed
Nav: F/O. John Gall DFC. NZ/416476 RNZAF Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Arthur George Maskall. DFM. 127532 Age 32. Killed
Air/Gnr: F/O. Michael Henry Hughes 133874 RAFVR Age 23. Injured
Agent 1: (codename 'Poker') Cornelis Martinus Dekkers Age 25. Killed
Agent 2: (codename 'Football') Gerrit Jan Kuenen Age 26. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
9 aircraft taking off on Special Operations Executives flight on various tasks. 3 failed to return.
V9155 was taking two Dutch agents 'Poker' and 'Football' to be dropped into the Netherlands. Taking off from RAF Tempsford at 23:34 hrs and it would seem that they strayed over the heavily anti-aircraft defended Luftwaffe fighter base at Gilze-Rijen. They were hit by flak and crashed on the airfield perimeter at 01:20 hrs.
F/O. Hughes was transported to s' Hertogenbosch but died en-route without gaining consciousness.
Many relatives placed small memorials in the area of RAF Tempsford, where a barn still stands today (on private land - so please seek permission to visit) Tony Glover during one such visit took the photograph shown for F/O. Arthur George Maskall. DFM and sent it into Aircrew Remembered in August 2018.
Above: two of the many brave agents who were killed during SOE operations. (courtesy Michael Jacks)
The other SOE crews lost during this nights operations:
138 Squadron Halifax V LL276 NF-F Flown by 23 year old W/O. Henry Francis Graham Murray 1433884 RAFVR - Killed with 4 other crew, 3 taken PoW.
138 Squadron Halifax V LL419 NF-V Flown by 29 year old, F/O. Joseph Patrick Gallagher J/25456 RCAF - Missing - believed killed with all others of the 8 crew members.
The crew were initially buried at the Roman Catholic Churchyard at Gilze at 06:30 hrs on the 02nd June - reinterred after the end of the war as shown. F/O. Hughes was buried at Uden.
Fl/Lt. Warren Macauley Hale. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 11.F.1. Son of Henry Warren Kilburn Hale and Esther Evelyn Macaulay Hale, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription reads: "I Have Fought A Good Fight, I Have Finished My Course, I Have Kept The Faith".
F/O. John Gall DFC. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 10.F.11. Son of John and Madge Gall, of Maza, North Dakota, U.S.A. A total of 614 flying hours logged and on his 47th operational sortie. (shown left)
F/O. Arthur George Maskall. DFM. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 7.E.12. Son of Sidney George and Lily Maskall and husband of Doris Grace Maskall, of Cambridge, England. Grave inscription reads: "And Hath Raised Us Up Together, And Made Us Sit Together In Heavenly Places".
F/O. Michael Henry Hughes. Uden War Cemetery. Grave 5.C.5. Son of Geoffrey Arden and Katherine Mary Hughes of Avonweir, Christian Malford, Wiltshire, England.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Tony Glover for memorial photo and Astrid for grave photographs (not used, but available for relatives). Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: