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Thread: Flying Officer John D. Hegarty (141890). 242 squadron

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    Default Flying Officer John D. Hegarty (141890). 242 squadron

    Good morning .... My brother John was killed in action on 3rd June 1944. I have always understood that 242 squadron was based on Malta at the time, and indeed, his name appears on the War Mémorial there.
    However, I have recently been looking at various sites dealing with 242, and it now appears that they were in fact based on Corsica.
    John did his training in South Africa (Standerton) and was posted to 242 in October 1943. I do have his Service Record, but it gives little information.
    I would very much like to know something of 242`s activities at the time John was killed - what might he have been involved in? And also why his name appears on the Mémorial in Malta?
    Best wishes to all JeanB

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    Hello Jean, and welcome to RAFCommands.

    I'm sure there will be some more replies to your query, but I can start with information about the Malta Memorial. The memorial lists the names of those 2.298 Allied aircrew lost on operations in and around the Mediterranean who were killed and have no known grave. An inscription on the memorial reads:

    Over these and neighbouring lands and seas the airmen whose names are recorded here fell in raid or sortie and have no known grave. Malta, Gibraltar, Mediterranean, Adriatic, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria. Propositi insula tenax tenaces viros commemorat.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Hi Jean,

    I can confirm that as of 03 Jun 44 242 Sqn was based at Poretta in northern Corsica.

    Source: RAF Squadrons, by C.G. Jefford

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Last edited by Andy Fletcher; 23rd June 2015 at 16:03. Reason: Typo
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Hello Jean

    I don't know if you are close or not from the National Archives at Kew, London, but it'd be worth a visit, especially if you don't have your brother's log-book, to check the Squadron Operations Record Book. For the years 1943 and 1944, the reference is AIR 27/1472.

    You have the possibility to buy online a copy of each month : http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8396568 , covering his time in the Squadron, but at £ 3.30 a month, from October 43 to June 1944, it could soon make it more interesting to either go there yourself, or find someone who could. There's also, usually, an appendix to the O.R.B., which might be interesting to check also.

    As you have his service record, the training units should be listed, and you could also check their own O.R.B.s at Kew, for those which are kept there. I know that some of the South African Air Schools archives can be found in the AIR 54 series at Kew, and some documents downloaded for free (don't know if it's still the case). Sometimes you can strike lucky with course pictures in training units, it's rare, but it happens from time to time.

    Good luck in your research

    Joss

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    Hi Jean,

    I have the Squadron Operations Record Book for 242 Squadron, May 1944 and it does mention your brother so if you can pm me your e mail address I will forward it to you.

    Russ

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    Hi Jean,

    I have forwarded the ORBs to your e mail address.

    Russ

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    Hello,

    A possibility:

    3-6-1944
    No.242 Sqn.
    Spitfire LF.IX MH836

    Engine lost power on sweep, abandoned near Lake Bracciano, NW of Rome.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 24th June 2015 at 15:38.

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    Thankyou all so much ...

    Simon, for telling me about the Malta Mémorial.
    Andy, for confirming that 242 was indeed stationed in Corsica at that time
    Joss for the info. about the Nat. Archives; I live in France so I can`t go in person, and rely on records which can be downloaded.

    Col. I think you are spot on. He was certainly flying a IX, and the location is correct.
    Russ - I have replied to you by email - but a public thanks as well.


    I now have the relevant ORBs, they make sad reading, but I`m glad to know what actually happened.

    I am grateful to you all. JeanB

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    Hello Jean
    welcome to the board.
    to complete the query on the message thread, what does the ORB have to say about your brother?

    Does it mention the aircraft serial number as MH836?
    I was interested to know.
    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Morning Dennis ... thanks for your interest. I quote below an extract from the ORB concerning my brother. No, it doesn`t mention the aircraft serial number, but I think that Col - and you - are spot on with MH836. He was certainly flying an IX, and the location and date are correct.

    Quote:
    3rd June 1944.
    Third operation; Fighter sweep of Lake Bracciano area. Patrolled without flak or sight of enemy aircraft; observed two bomber formations bombing in the Torrita Tiberina area. Our homeward journey, in accordance with previous orders, was carried out at 4000 feet, instead of the usual 14-16000 feet for patrol work, in order to observe the condition of the bridges around Grossetto, all of which appeared to be quite serviceable. While there at approximately 1715 hours, F/O J.D. Hegarty (141890) reported engine trouble, and climbed to about 7000 feet, emitting black smoke. His aircraft then emitted quantities of white smoke, and he called up and said he was going to bale out. He inverted the aircraft, but the nose dropped immediately, and crashed from a spiral dive with a tremendous splash, in the sea, approximately quarter mile off Marina di Grossetto. F/O Hegarty did not get out of the aircraft, which sank instantly, leaving only an oily smear on the water. He will be greatly missed by all, his playing of the accordian and piano being one of the mainstays of our concert party, of which he was the Officer i/c.

    JeanB

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