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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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Coastal Command Crest
09.12.1940 No. 224 Squadron Hudson I T9277 QX-W F/O. Murphy

Operation: Stand Patrol

Date: 09th December 1940 (Monday)

Unit: No. 224 Squadron

Type: Hudson I

Serial: T9277

Code: QX-W

Base: RAF Leuchars, Scotland

Location: Missing - North Sea

Pilot: F/O. Leslie Desmond Prundy Murphy 41196 RAF Age ? Missing - believed killed

Obs: P/O. Frank Alexander Roach 85228 RAFVR Age ? Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Steele 523780 RAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Terence John Crawley 901761 RAFVR Age 34. Missing - believed killed


Taking off from RAF Leuchars in Scotland at 10:40 hrs on a “Stand Patrol” (Stavanger to Kristiansand). Nothing further was heard from the aircraft but it is thought that they were shot down by III/ZG76 - all the crew were classed as missing - believed killed and commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. (Information courtesy Ross McNeill - author of Coastal Command Losses)

Above: Hudson T9277 QX-W from 224 Squadron

Also lost on the same operation:

Hudson I N7265 QX-J Flown by 20 year old, F/O. Gordon James Masterton Dewar 41385 RAF from Haywards Heath, Sussex, England missing, believed killed with all his other 3 crew members. Lost under similar circumstances as T9277.

The Lockheed Hudson - 224 Squadron were the first to have this aircraft in the RAF (Although later outclassed by larger bombers, the Hudson achieved some significant feats during the first half of the war. On 8 October 1939, over Jutland, a Hudson became the first Allied aircraft operating from the British Isles to shoot down an enemy aircraft. (earlier victories by a Fairey Battle on 20 September 1939 over Aachen and by Blackburn Skuas of the Fleet Air Arm on 26 September 1939 had been by aircraft based in France or on an aircraft carrier). Hudsons also provided top cover during the Battle of Dunkirk. Normally carried a crew of 6. Max speed 246 mph - 2 x Wright Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engines - range of 1,960 miles - 2 x .303 browning machine guns in dorsal turret, 2 x .303 browning machine guns in nose - 750 lb. of bombs or depth charges.

Burial details:

F/O. Leslie Desmond Prundy Murphy. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 6. No further information - are you able to assist?

P/O. Frank Alexander Roach. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 10. Son of Frank B. and Alexandrina Roach and husband of Anna Roach.

Sgt. William Steele. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 19. Son of Hugh and Elizabeth Steele, of Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Sgt. Terence John Crawley. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 13. Son of John and Winifred Crawley, of Shoeburyness, Essex, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Ross McNeill and sources indicated below.

KTY - 22.08.2017

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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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