27.12.1944 109 Squadron Mosquito XVI ML961 Flt.Lt. William M. Hodgson, AFC, DFC
Date: 27th December 1944 (Wednesday)
Unit: 109 Squadron
Type: Mosquito XV1
Base: RAF Staughton, Cambridgeshire
Location: Keent, Netherlands
Pilot: Flt.Lt. William McKellar Hodgson AFM. DFC, 129945 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Nav: Fg.Off. Alfred John Cork DFM, 168811 RAFVR Age ? Survived
Flt.Lt. Hodgson was awarded his AFC after 25th July 1944 and before 23rd March 1945. His DFC was awarded and gazetted on the 23rd March 1945.
Flt.Sgt. Cork, 1152931 was awarded the DFM on the 10th December 1943, whilst with 50 Sqn.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 13:00 hrs from the pathfinder base at RAF Staughton.
The Operations Record Book (ORB) for this mission records that this was a reserve aircraft which took off with Mosquito XVI, ML991 flown by Flt.Lt. M.P. Fellowes, and Fg.Off. A.A. Bowley but was not required. This was an Oboe mission to drop Target Indicators from 34,000ft. Cloud cover over the indicated target was reported as nil and defences as nil.
ML961 failed to return to base. One parachute was seen to be made from the aircraft. Fg.Off. Cork was reported to be safe behind Allied lines and returned to RAF Staughton some 4 days later.
The book ‘Mosquito: Menacing The Reich’ (Martin W. Bowman) recorded that a burst of machine gun or cannon fire hit them. However, no German Fighter claims have been found in the OKL (Luftwaffe High Command) records for a claim against a Mosquito on this date and the ORB reported that the defences were nil.
Claudio Meunier is currently researching Argentinian and South American RAF personnel for a future publication.
Flt.Lt. William McKellar Hodgson AFM. DFC. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XII.F.6. Son of Dr. Ernest Ralph Waterhouse Hodgson (bone specialist) and Mary Lees McKellar Hodgson, of Cardal, Florida, Uruguay.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Claudio G. Meunier Argentinian researcher for Aircrew Remembered. Thanks to Hannah Cork, the granddaughter of Fg.Off. Cork, for the reference to Mosquito: Menacing The Reich’ (Martin W. Bowman).