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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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Bomber Command Crest
08.07.1945 BSDU Mosquito VI PZ178 Sq/Ldr. Merryfull MBE

Operation: Test flight

Date: 08th July 1945 (Sunday)

Unit: No. Bomber Support Development Unit

Type: Mosquito VI

Serial: PZ178

Code: -

Base: RAF Docking

Location: Docking, Norfolk

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Charles Joseph Merryfull MBE (posth). AUS/424778 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Pass/Electrician: LAC. Francis Grady 2209126 RAFVR Age ? Killed


Taking off from RAF Docking in Norfolk to carry out trials with new 'Window' dispensing tanks.

The port tank beam failed and it is thought that this may have struck the tailplane.

The highly experienced pilot made an instinctive but violent recovery which caused the starboard wing to fail with the Mosquito breaking up in the air - killing both crew members.

Sq/Ldr. Charles Joseph Merryfull was posthumously awarded the MBE for the development of the foil automatic dispersal packets of window strips. He had previously served with 199 Squadron flying the Stirling bomber.

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Charles Joseph Merryfull. MBE (posth). Cambridge City Cemetery. Grave 15766. Born on the 27th November 1919 at Adelong, NSW, the son of Edward George (born - 1886, died - 6 July 1972, a veterinary surgeon) and Annie Merryfull née Onus, (died 10 August 1960) younger brother of Albert Edward, of 111 Forest Road, Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia. Enlisted on the 09th October 1942 in Sydney. He had completed 21 operational sorties by the end of the war. Grave inscription reads: 'He Gave His Life That We May Enjoy Peace'.

LAC. Francis Grady. St. Helens Cemetery. Sec. 31. Grave 88. Son of Joseph and Mary E. Grady, of Thatto Heath, St. Helens, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the sources as quoted below:

KTY 03.10.2019

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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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