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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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109 Squadron Crest
27.12.1944 109 Squadron Mosquito XVI ML961 Flt.Lt. William M. Hodgson, AFC, DFC

Operation: Rheydt

Date: 27th December 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: 109 Squadron

Type: Mosquito XV1

Serial: ML961

Code: HS-T

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.


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.

Burial details:

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).

RS 10.05.2020 - Update to narrative for loss of aircraft

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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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