Flight Lieutenant Lloyd Morgan D.F.M.
Flight Lieutenant Lloyd Morgan D.F.M. born January 30 1920, Croydon, Surrey. Died April 17 2013
Flight Lieutenant Lloyd Morgan was awarded an immediate DFM for a night low-level attack against an oil refinery during the Second World War.
Morgan was the pilot of one of three Beauforts of No 217 Squadron which were sent to bomb docks and shipping at St Nazaire on the night of September 28 1941. Poor weather thwarted the attack, so Morgan and his crew headed for their alternative target, the oil refinery at nearby Donge. On the Beaufort’s approach, a night fighter attacked. As Morgan dived to 100ft, his gunner opened fire and the enemy fighter sheered off. The gunner then destroyed a threatening searchlight.
The Beaufort pressed on, and was able to obtain a direct hit with its bombs, causing an explosion that shook the low-flying bomber in the sky. A large fire could still be seen burning fiercely when the aircraft was fully 25 miles from the target.
Two nights later Morgan was detailed to carry out a night attack on a chemical works at Nantes. The observer fixed their position in hazy conditions and released the bombs from 700ft. Again, the explosion rocked the aircraft — the crew watched as a tall chimney collapsed, to be followed by another enormous fire. As they headed for the coast, they saw below them torch flashes from locals which signalled “dit-dit-dit-dah” (“V” – for “Victory”). The event received wide coverage in the British national press and Morgan’s DFM was announced three weeks later .
Lloyd Hollister Morgan was educated at Maidstone Grammar School. He became a clerk with Kent county council before, in March 1940, enlisting in the RAF and training as a pilot.
He joined No 217 Squadron in April 1941 and flew anti-shipping patrols in the North Sea and in the Bay of Biscay, as well as carrying out bombing raids near the French Biscay ports. By the end of September he had completed 26 patrols.
After training as a flying instructor, Morgan was commissioned and spent a year teaching pilots to fly the Beaufort. In June 1943 he trained as a photographic reconnaissance pilot, leaving four months later for India, where he joined the newly formed No 684 Squadron, flying the long-range Mosquito from airfields near Calcutta.
From an advanced base, the squadron photographed most of Burma and northern Thailand before detachments were sent to Ceylon to photograph northern Sumatra. After almost a year of continuous operations Morgan was rested and instructed at a flying school at Poona before returning to Britain. He was released from the Service in May 1946.
Morgan then joined BEA and flew the Dakota, Viscount and Vanguard. He continued flying when BOAC and BEA merged to form British Airways, converting to jets and becoming the senior training captain on the BAC-111 fleet. After retiring from BA he spent five years flying the BAC-111 with Air Malawi, finally retiring at the age of 60.
For recreation, he enjoyed playing bridge and golf.
Lloyd Morgan married, in 1949, Sylvia Harrison, who survives him with their son; a second son died in childhood.
Reprinted with the kind permission of the Daily Telegraph obituaries column.
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Article prepared by Barry Howard of the Spixworthonian Language School.