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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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RAF Bomber Command Crest
28/29.06.1943 No. 619 Squadron Lancaster III ED979 Fl/Sgt. Terence P. Murphy

Operation: Cologne, Germany

Date: 28/29th June 1943 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 619 Squadron

Type: Lancaster Mk III

Serial: ED979

Code: PG-?

Base: RAF Woodhall Spa. Lincolnshire.

Location: Aalst-Waalre, just south of Eindhoven, Holland

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Terence Peter Murphy 1246721 RAF Age 23. Killed

Nav: F/O. Eric Harper 134213 RAFVR Age 35. Killed

Flt/Engr: Sgt. Jack Adsetts 531481 RAF Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: F/O. Alexander Mackay 131976 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Evan Rivers 1330344 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Raymond Archibald Grace 614065 RAF Age 23. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. John Harvey William Walker R/64856 RCAF Age 22. Killed

We would like to place an appeal on behalf of Raimondo Bogaars for further information and or photographs. Raimondo is hoping to place a memorial at the crash site in the future. Please contact us and your information will be forwarded.



Took off at 22.58 hrs from RAF Woodhall Spa. 608 aircraft took part (267 Lancaster's, 169 Halifax's, 85 Wellington's, 75 Stirling's and 12 Mosquitoes).

The raid took place with a cloud covered Cologne but even with that and the fact that only 6 Mosquitoes dropped their markers, the raid was devastating to Cologne.

4,377 people were killed on the ground, 10,000 were injured and another 230,000 were forced to leave their damaged homes.

Above Left to right: Fl/Sgt. Murphy F/O. Mackay, Sgt. Rivers, Fl/Sgt. Walker (courtesy Raimondo Bogaars, Frank Maxwell and Andy Mackay)

The RAF lost 25 aircraft. 157 Aircrew were killed and another 19 made PoW.

Lancaster ED979 was shot down by Maj. Günter Radusch (1), night fighter ace of Stab II NJG3 over Waaire, 7 KM South Eindhoven at a height of 6,200 mtrs at 02:24 hrs.

(1) Maj Günter Radusch survived the war with 66 kills. See Kracker Archive on this site for more details

We have been contacted by the nephew of the pilot, he wrote:

"Fl/Sgt. Murphy was my uncle and prior to volunteering for service following the 1940 blitz of Coventry and the consequential bombing of his mother's house, he and my grandma stayed with us (my parents and I)"

F/O. Alexander Mackay front row - 3rd from left during training (courtesy Andy Mackay)

Further information on the pilot, Fl/Sgt. Terence Peter Murphy as supplied by his nephew, Frank Maxwell:

"Terence Peter Murphy was born in Foleshill a district of Coventry in 1920 the youngest of five boys spanning a period of 21 years. After attending Coventry Technical College he followed the family tradition of the previous two generations of engineers and trained at Armstrong Whitworth who manufactured the Lancaster bombers.
He wanted to be a designer and under the guidance of his older brother Dennis who was the Chief Draughtsman, he was able to achieve his ambition."

Terence pictured above with his mother
"Both his grandfather and father had been engineers in Connecticut USA where his father was born, moving to England in 1896. Sadly his father died when he was 3 years old so he really never knew him and was brought up by his mother who managed to find time as a tailoress working from home, to support him and his next brother Dennis who was still at school, with help from the older boys who were working."

Local newspaper reporting his schooldays

"He was an excellent athlete and was known as Terence the runner, his brothers were also good talented sportsmen and his uncle Willy Isaacs was a British Cycling Champion in 1904, a tradition which has followed in the next three generations.

His mother a native of London had two brothers who in the early 1900’s owned a company called Acton Engineering, manufacturing parts for the emerging automobile industry; so his destiny in engineering seemed inescapable and by coincidence the next three generations have followed this path!"

The area that Terry lived before and after the blitz on Coventry
"On the 14th November 1940 following the onslaught of German bombing central Coventry was destroyed including his mother’s house and he and his mother moved to his second eldest brother Frank’s house, next to open countryside on the perimeter of Coventry, which still managed to suffer considerable bomb damage on that fateful night and in subsequent raids.

As a consequence of the Coventry Blitz Terence volunteered for the Air Force, which was natural considering his affinity with the Lancaster and went from designer to pilot, much against his family’s wishes who thought as he was in a reserved occupation it wasn’t necessary, he commented that someone has to fight the Gerries after what they have done to Coventry!

He was indeed very proud when he came home on leave in his uniform for the first time and subsequently when he was training in Canada and brought home the photographs he had taken on the training flights, with the camera which is still kept with his medals and letters.

On the night of the 28th/29th June 1943 over Cologne he and so many other brave men did pay back for Coventry and he paid the ultimate price with his life, a loss from which his mother was never able to recover and died 3 years later a very frail lonely and heartbroken old lady."

Burial details:

Flt/Sgt. Terence Peter Murphy. Einhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery Plot EE. Grave 45. Son of Daniel and Edith Clyne Murphy, of Canley, Coventry, England. 

F/O. Eric Harper. Einhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery Plot EE. Grave 42. Son of William and Sarah Harper, of Bolton, Lancashire, England

Sgt. Raymond Archibald Grace. Einhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery Plot EE. Grave 41. Son of Walter A.B. and Adah Emily Grace, of Leicester, England.

Flt/Sgt. John Harvey William Walker. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery XV.F.4. Son of John James Walker and Pearl Walker, of Sunny Brae, New Brunswick, Canada.

F/O. Alexander Mackay. Einhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery Plot EE. Grave 40. Son of Adam Sinclair Mackay and Jane Mackay, of Thurso, Caithness, Scotland.

Sgt. Jack Adsetts. Einhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery Plot EE. Grave 39. N.o.K details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

Sgt. Norman Evan Rivers. Einhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery Plot EE. Grave 43. Son of A.G. and Florence Rivers, of Hadleigh, Essex, England

With information supplied by, Raimondo Bogaars, Andy Mackay, Frank Maxwell, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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: 20 June 2016, 13:16

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