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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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489 Squadron Crest
14/15.09.1942 No. 489 Squadron Hampden TBI AD795 XA-K F/O. Murray

Operation: U-Boat search

Date: 14/15th September 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 489 Squadron (18 Group - Coastal Command)

Type: Hampden TB I

Serial: AD795

Code: XA-K

Base: RAF Skitten, Caithness, Scotland

Location: Lost without trace - North Sea

Pilot: F/O. Thomas Donald Gordon Murray NZ/404925 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed

Obs: Sgt. Charles Henry Brandon NZ/404958 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alexander George Brown NZ/41568 RNZAF Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Newman NZ/41602 RNZAF Age 25. Killed


Taking off at 17:35 hrs on a U-Boat search north of the Shetland Isles.

At 02:17 hrs they signalled that they were short of fuel and that they may have to 'ditch'. (The Hampden cruised at 206 mph - had a range of 1,720 miles with full fuel load and carrying 910 kg bomb load).

At 02:20 they called again: 'will have to land in the sea'.

Then SOS signals were received between 02:22 and 02:27 hrs.

They were then able to be plotted to be about 60 miles East of Rattray Head in Aberdeenshire.

Eight aircraft were sent the following morning to search for the crew - nothing was found and they returned to base.

The body of Sgt. Newman was washed up near Husum and that of Sgt. Brown at Sylt. Buried locally but reinterred after the end of hostilities at Kiel.

(Above images reproduced under licence from Auckland (New Zealand) Library, Sir George Grey Special Collection. Sgt. Charles Henry Brandon: AWNS19421216-23-26, F/O. Thomas Donald Gordon Murray: AWNS0929-20-3, Sgt. Douglas Newman: AWNZ19421216-22-31. Sgt. Alexander George Brown: Air Force Museum of New Zealand)

Burial details:

F/O. Thomas Donald Gordon Murray. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 114. Son of Leslie Gordon Murray and Francis Alice Mary Murray, of Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand. 336 flying hours logged and had completed 3 operational sorties.

Sgt. Charles Henry Brandon. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 117. Son of Leslie Gordon Murray and Francis Alice Mary Murray, of Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand. 304 flying hours logged and had completed some operational sorties.

Sgt. Alexander George Brown. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 4.H.3. Son of George Brown and Rakiki Tipoki, of Cook Islands, New Zealand. 172 flying hours logged and had completed some operational sorties.

Sgt. Douglas Newman. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 3.C.5. Son of James and Louisa Emily Newman, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. 173 flying hours logged and had completed 4 operational sorties.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 18.10.2018

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