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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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102 Crest
24/25th October 1940 102 Squadron Whitley V P5073 P/O. Davies

Operation: Berlin

Date: 24/25th October 1940 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 102 Squadron (motto: Tentate et Perficite - 'Attempt and achieve') 4 Group

Type: Whitley V

Serial: P5073

Code: DY-D

Base: RAF Linton-On-Ouse, Yorkshire

Location: Thirsk to York railway line at Alne, Yorkshire

Pilot: P/O. Anthony Glyndwr Davies 40806 RAF Age 20. Injured (1)

Pilot 2: P/O. Thomas Russell Murfitt 42759 RAF Age 24. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Ian Cowie Scoular NZ/391870 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Angus Stewart Wilson 624190 RAF Age 24. Seriously injured (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Terence Edward Lee 43162 RAF Age 19. Seriously injured (3)


Taking off at 22:02 hrs. for an operation on the German Air Ministry buildings in Berlin.

Detailed report from the file of Sgt. Ian Cowie Scoular as written by the C/O. Off 102 Squadron (courtesy Errol Martyn)

On attaining a height of 1,400 feet he observed tracer to his left and below, and also immediately noticed tracer which he estimated was passing through the starboard wing tanks. At the time the Pilot was executing a left hand circuit of the flare path. He throttled back, turned the navigation lights and petrol off, and observed a fire underneath the starboard main plane. Height was lost and an attempt was made to trim the aircraft with the elevator tabs but they did not function.

The pilot saw the ground vaguely through the light of the fire, opened the escape hatch. Fire was not intense. The aircraft struck a tree and flames immediately spread all over the cabin. The Pilot hit his head on the roof, but managed to scramble through the hatch and fell backwards to the ground, and then ran a few yards away. He then went back to the aircraft, and attempted to release Sgt. Wilson who was caught on a projection in the aircraft by his parachute harness, his hair was on fire but P/O. Davies put the flames out with his hands. He was unable to release Sgt. Wilson but the latter was able to release himself after about 30 seconds.

P/O. Davies then saw P/O. Lee, the tail gunner, reeling from the tail. He called to P/O. Lee and told him to run away from the aircraft and get down beside a nearby railway embankment. The fire was then much too intense to get near the aircraft. One or two bombs exploded also a tank and some pyrotechnics. P/O. Davies rallied Lee and Wilson and ran to the railway line, another bomb went off and he ordered them to lie flat in a ditch.

They eventually crossed the line and lay down beside the far embankment. Three or four bombs went off while they were there, and pyrotechnics fell all around them. P/O. Davies took Wilsons sidcot off, and then Wilson and Davies took Lees harness, sidcot (4) and boots off. Wilson called for help and some soldiers arrived on the scene and took the survivors to a local Inn. An Army M.O. attended them and despatched them to York Military Hospital where they remain. P/O. Murfitt and Sgt. Scoular perished in the aircraft.

Above: Uffz. Ernst Meissler with Lt. Hans Hahn (see credits)

The Whitley was attacked by Lt. Hans Hahn and his bordfunker Uffz. Ernst Meissler of 3./NJG in a Ju88 C-2 his fifth claim of 13. They were both killed with Uffz. Helmuth Scheidt in a similar intruder tactic on the 11th October 1941. Further details here.

(1) P/O. Anthony Glyndwr Davies. Born 26th May 1920 at Takeley, Essex. Left hand was severely burnt as well as his right hand. Survived the war, relinquishing his commission of Fl/Lt. on 1st August 1955.

(2) Sgt. Angus Stewart Wilson suffered severe facial burns and very severe burns to both hands. He died Fulford Military Hospital on the 02nd November 1940.

(3) P/O. Terence Edward Lee suffered severe internal injuries. He died Fulford Military Hospital on the 02nd November 1940.

(4) Sidcot - Flight Suit named after Sir Sidney Cotton, an Australian born inventor and aviation pioneer. He grew up partly in England and joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915. During WWI he was a combat pilot in the RAF and flew bombing missions over France and Germany. His experience with high level and low-temperature flying led Cotton in 1917 to develop the revolutionary new "Sidcot" suit, a flying suit which solved the problem pilots had in keeping warm in the cockpit. This flying suit was widely used by the RAF until the 1950s.

Burial and Personal Details:

P/O. Thomas Russell Murfitt. Newton-On-Ouse Churchyard (All Saints). Row Q. Grave 6. Born on the 13th December 1915 at Waiuku, North Island. An apprentice engineer for George Fraser and Sons prior to service. Selected for short service commission on the 30th May 1939. Awarded his pilots badge on the 31st January 1940 and continued training at 10 OTU before joining 102 Squadron on the 29th June 1940.Son of Ernest Edward and Alberdine Elizabeth Gertrude Murfitt (née Otto), of Karekare, Auckland, New Zealand and husband of Anne Murfitt, of Willesden, Middlesex. 360 flying hours logged and on his 15th operational sortie. Grave inscription: 'At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Him'.

newton on ouse cemetery

Newton-on-Ouse UK

Sgt. Ian Cowie Scoular. Newton-On-Ouse Churchyard (All Saints). Row Q. Grave 7. Also remembered at Omakau Cemetery at Otago, New Zealand. Born on the 12th June 1915 at Dunedin. Prior to service worked as a farmer at his father's business Matakanui Station. Joined the RNZAF after 2 months in the army on 17th December 1939 at Levin. Awarded his observer's badge and promoted to sergeant on the 04th May 1940. Joined 102 Squadron on the 09th September 1940 after further training at 11 OTU. Son of Andrew Cowie Scoular (died 1945 age 45), and of Eily Melford Scoular (née Smith - died 20th October 1970 age 80), brother of Jean Halstead (née Scoular - died 1977 age 65) of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. 133 flying hours logged.

Sgt. Angus Stewart Wilson. Stane Cemetery. Sec. B. Grave 75. son of Mr. William Wilson, 10 Southfield Ave, Shotts, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

stane cemetery

Stane Cemetery UK

P/O. Terence Edward Lee. Trusthorpe Churchyard (St. Peter). No further details, are you able to assist?

trusthorpe st peter cemetery

Trusthorpe St. Peter UK

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: 'For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3', Thomas Knauf via Dr. Theo Boiten for Luftwaffe photo, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25-02-2021

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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