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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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185 squadron crest
01.10.1941 No. 185 Squadron Hurricane IIb Z5265 GL-T P/O. Mould D.F.C. and bar

Operation: Interception of enemy aircraft

Date: 1st October 1941

Unit: No.185 Squadron

Type: Hawker Hurricane IIb

Serial: Z5265

Code: GL-T

Location: Missing north of Gozo, off Malta.

Pilot: P/O. Peter William Olber Mould D.F.C. and bar. 33414 R.A.F. Age 24. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:

At 11:50, eight Hurricanes from 185 Squadron scrambled after the incoming ëbanditsí, climbing to 24,000 feet. At this height, 30 miles north-east of the island, they were jumped by the Macchis and 24-year-old Squadron Leader Peter ëBoyí Mould (RAF no. 33414) (Hurricane Z5265/GL-T) was shot down and killed (at this time Mould was credited with 8 and 3 shared victories). 

Capitano Carlo Ivaldi Macchi, Tenente Bonfatti and Sergente Maggiore Dallari claimed two Hurricanes shot down and two probables between them in this first pass; Bonfatti reported that he saw his opponent to jump and parachute (according to some sources the Italian pilots claimed three victories). 

Sergeant Ernie Knight got in a shot at the attackers, obtaining hits on Ivaldiís aircraft (MM7723), which he claimed damaged. The Macchi had been hit in its main fuel tank, and with all fuel drained away, was obliged to force-land on a beach near Pozzzallo, on regaining the Sicilian coast. 

                             

Above: P/O. Peter William Olber Mould D.F.C. and bar

Below: 185 Squadron at base in Malta – GL-T shown in the background

                     

Just to add, this was written in 185 Squadron’s diary by Flying Officer Peter Thompson after the battle (with thanks to Brian Cull for the excellent book ‘Hurricanes Over Malta’)

‘The CO was leading A Flight in a scramble after a +2. These he spotted and proceeded to give chase. As they were above him, he was compelled to lose speed in order to gain height. A further plot of +9 then appeared which he apparently did not hear about owing to R/T failure, and just when he was unfavourably placed – he had followed the +2 out of the sun – the formation was jumped by about a dozen Macchis and CR42’s. F/O Murch was hit in the wing and several other, in an attempt to turn to engage, spun off. The situation was hopeless and our pilots broke off the engagement and returned to base – with one exception, the CO.’ 

No one actually saw Mould go down, as is often the case. Rescue flights covered the area and found a patch of oil on the surface, the only trace. 

In the same book there is a picture of ‘Boy’ Mould’s Hurricane Z5265. Only the letter ‘T’ is painted on, not the ‘GL’.

Peter ‘Boy’ Mould with Hurricane during the Battle of France

            

Burial detail:

P/O. Peter William Olber Mould. Malta Memorial. Panel 1, Column 1. Son of Charles Brown Mould and Ethel Marguerite Mould, husband of Phyllis Mould. Triple Blue – Rugby Football, Cricket, Athletics; R.A.F. College, Cranwell.

With thanks to the following: Brian Cull – ‘Hurricanes Over Malta’, The C.W.G.C. Note: Pilot Officer ‘Boy’ Mould had entered the RAF as a boy entrant in 1933. A great athlete, he was selected for a cadetship at the RAF College, Cranwell, where he became a triple Blue at rugby, cricket and athletics. Having claimed the unit’s first aerial victory, he added eight more victories over France, six of them during the blitzkrieg. He was killed in action over Malta as a Squadron Commander on 1 October 1941.

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', 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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