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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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421 squadron crest
13.06.1944 No. 421 Squadron Spitfire IX MK235 F/O. Robert W. Murray

Operation: Beach Patrol

Date: 13th June 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 421 Squadron

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: MK235

Code: AU-?

Base: RAF Tangmere, Sussex

Location: 8 miles south of Tangmere, English Channel

Pilot: F/O. Robert Wilton Murray J/23038 RCAF Age 24. Killed


Returning from a patrol the aircraft developed engine trouble he called in and informed Tangmere that his engine had cut out and that he would be baling out. The aircraft glided into the English Channel at 07.40 hrs some 8 miles south of the base at RAF Tangmere. It seems that Fl/Lt. Murray did bale out, but that his parachute caught in the tail wheel of the aircraft.

Some reports list it as colliding with NH415, but we understand that the collision that refers to is that of Spitfire IX MJ824, from 127 wing - 416 Squadron, flown by W/Cmdr. Lloyd V. Chadburn DSO bar, DFC. who was killed along with the other pilot, 23 year old Fl/Lt. Frank J. Clark from Brampton, Ontario, Canada of 421 Squadron. Both are buried in France.

421 Squadron Spitfire IX (courtesy IWM)

Left: Grave at Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Burial details:

F/O. Robert Wilton Murray. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 52.E.9. Son of David Gregg Murray and Ethel Ellen Murray  of Southbank, British Columbia, Canada. Born in Nanton, Alberta, Canada. His brother, F/O. Douglas Gray Murray DFC also served in the RCAF with 35 ‘Pathfinder’ Squadron. His grave is inscribed: “He that believeth in me, Though he were dead, Yet shall he live”. St. John XI.25.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Linda Murray relative of the pilot, also credits to, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 3, Aircrew Remembered archives, Les Allison and Harry Hayward - 'They Shall Grow Not Old', Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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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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