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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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175 Squadron Crest
05.06.1944 No. 175 Squadron Typhoon Ib MN456 W/O. Pugh

Operation: Cherbourg Harbour

Date: 05th June 1944 (Monday)

Unit: No. 175 Squadron (motto: 'Stop At Nothing')

Type: Typhoon Ib

Serial: MN456

Code: HH-?

Base: RAF Holmsely South, Hampshire

Location: English Channel, off Cherbourg

Pilot: W/O. John Halstead Pugh AUS/416998 RAAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed


At 08:45 hrs whilst returning from an operation to Cherboug harbour he reported over the radio that his engine had 'cut out'. He attempted to restart the engine but as that failed he baled out at around 3000 ft. some 15 miles north of Cherbourg harbour into the English Channel.

Despite searches carried out by seven others from the squadron his body and neither that of the aircraft were found. They saw him hit the water whilst still attached to his parachute - but no dingy was seen. The others remained over the area for some time and the last aircraft to leave the search area left some 20 minutes later. Other sections stayed over the area until 13:30 hrs but the search was then abandoned!

Although there had been no evidence of him being hit by flak some light flak was reported over the target area. It is thought that the pilot had sadly drowned.

Burial details:

W/O. John Halstead Pugh. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 259. Born on the 04th October 1919 at Murray Bridge, the son of Angelo Victor and Millicent May Pugh, of Railway Terrace, Murray Bridge, South Australia. A bank clerk prior to service to which he enlisted on the 08th November 1941. W/O. Pugh had joined the Squadron on the 27th May 1944.

For further details our thanks to Australian Archives and to the following sources:

KTY 06.05.2019

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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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