|Spitfire 28 Aug. 41||hello Gildas,
Both old and revised editions of FCL have the same entry for the circumstances of the loss. The additions between the two are : status 'missing' became 'PoW', RNZAF added, and may be the initials of Sgt MURPHY. Alex would tell, as I don't have the revised edition. I've seen in and check a couple of entries, still tens of mistakes and omissions, I found it was not worth the 15 or so bucks for it... Will wait till I can get it at bargain price.
Initials of Sgt Murphy would be a great asset to find his PoW questionnaire. It's quite a common surname...
Actually, you can get either photostat copies or scans of documents from Kew, you don't have to travel there. And if you've never been, you'll need a few visits to get used to it. They're also changing, adding new facilities, new archives, etc... The PoW questionnaires (WO 344 series) were not open to the public until about 3 years ago. Since then, I've checked several hundreds, probably more than a thousands of them. This is really a great source.
There's a book about No. 247 Squadron :"Rise from the East" by David John MARCHANT, published by Air-Britain. The index lists only one MURPHY : Sgt, initials are S.O.J..
Page 152 confirm he is indeed the pilot who was shot down and captured on 28th August 1941 : Hurricane IIC BD857 was coded HP-P,, arrived 14th August 1941, from 44 MU, lost 28 August 1941, hit trees after attack, force-landed near Morlaix aérodrome, Sgt SOJ MURPHY pow.
Page 33 details the action. I quote :
This was the first strike by the Squadron, named Mandolin V. Target : Morlaix aerodrome. 4 Hurricane IICs : S/L O'BRIAN, red 1, BD859, Sgt MURPHY red2 BD857, F/L CARVER blue 1 Z3089 and Sgt McCLELLAND Blue 2 Z3088. They took off from Predannack at 20:00. French coast was crossed 40 minutes later to the west of Ile de Batz. Turning south-west the Hurricanes followed the landward side of the Plouescat-Morlaix railway and approached the aerodrome from the west at a height of 50 feet. S/L O'BRIAN opened fire at a blister hangar. Defences began to react with heavy Flak and machinegun fire. Sgt MURPHY was seen by O'BRIAN parallel to him diving to the right, firing at gun posts on the southern corners. F/L CARVER thought that MURPHY's Hurricane appeared to be 'slipping in'. Red 1, Blue 1 and 2 left the area turning north and crossed the coast at St Jean at 20:48.
Sgt MURPHY was missing. S/L O'BRIAN's Hurricane had been hit in the oil tank and the wing, but damage was slight. The remaining 3 aircraft landed back at Predannack at five-minute intervals from 21:20."
Page 34 is a transcript of MURPHY's time in occupied France. He doesn't mention where he force-landed his machine. He was on his own for 3 days, "heading hopefully south". He then met some French folk at St Thegonnec, they took him to a farmhouse and gave him a splendid soup while they, unknown to him, sent off a little girl on a bicycle to alert the authorities. While he was sipping off his soup, the ....Read More.||jossleclercq on 25th September 2008 05:12:49|