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Thread: Lt Milton M. Murphy in 110 Squadron? - 1919

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    Default Lt Milton M. Murphy in 110 Squadron? - 1919

    I wonder if someone with access to 110 Squadron records of 1919 can find a Lt. Milton M. Murphy among its pilots. This would have been from April till September of said year. He was an American and became a Colonel in the US Army Air Corps/Air Force in later years.
    Looking to ascertain if he was the pilot of a yet unidentified airmail plane, presumably RAF, that was lost in the North Sea on 17 July 1919. Dutch and British newspapers reported a ditching of a mail plane somewhere in the North Sea. Pilot Murphy (full ID still a question mark) was picked up by a Dutch steamer and put ashore in Brunsbuttel near Cuxhaven, N. Germany. Aircraft was lost (heavy seas) but engine salvaged by a Dutch fishing vessel.

    In 1919 the RAF had an airmail service between Folkestone and Cologne.

    Thanks for any info.

    Regards,

    Leendert
    Last edited by Leendert; 22nd February 2016 at 18:57. Reason: little addition

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    It appears I have to redefine the name. I now found there was an American airmail pilot with 110 Squadron named James P. Murray in April-Sep 1919.
    It may very well be that the newspapers mistook his name and all wrote Murphy instead (but that's entirely my guess...)..

    Even so, the question remains if Murray had to ditch his airplane in the North Sea on/around 17 July 1919 when flying the mails to Cologne...

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    If you do not receive any response here, Leendert, I suggest you try the Great War Forum at (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/fo...ex.php?act=idx). Obviously one has to become a member, but there is a sub-forum (War in the Air) which deals specifically with aviation (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/fo...p?showforum=25) . I'd be interested to know why his aircraft came down in the North Sea, as I believe the standard route was across the English Channel from Folkestone to Calais, and then overland to Cologne.

    Having had a quick look at the met data for the 17th, there should have been no reason for the pilot to have taken anything other than the shortest sea crossing. The surface wind appears to have been between SSW and SW force 3 (8-12 mph) to 4 (13-18 mph) - nothing sufficiently strong to have blown the aircraft far off course.

    Brian

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    Thanks, Brian, I'll also give it a try there.

    It is indeed still a mystery why the aircraft was what appears far from the usual postal route Folkestone-Cologne. Newspapers say the a/c ditched near "Buoy 6", but I haven't figured out yet where that beacon was at that time. The Dutch steamer arrived at Brunsbuttel around 19 July, so the pick up place of Murphy/Murray may have been well south of Den Helder already. Steamer was en route from Rotterdam to Finland.

    More northerly route perhaps to do with a flight to a Baltic port given the British involvement in N. Russia then?

    The search goes on, but of course any suggestion welcome here too. .

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Leendert,

    I don't know for certain, but I think it is doubtful that an aircraft carrying mail would fly due east from the UK to reach a Baltic port (via Denmark?). There would be little to gain given that an overland route from Calais then ENE across Belgium - Holland - Germany is not much that much further - and safer. Out of curiosity could you email me a scan of a couple of British reports; my address is in my profile.

    I could not find anything in The Times newspaper, nor Flight magazine (which you've probably checked already).

    Brian

    Edit. I believe the headquarters of the American forces in Germany during 1919 was at Koblenz.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 23rd February 2016 at 15:15. Reason: American HQ

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    Thanks to the gentlemen for the PM mails with further suggestions.

    Just FYI that the 110 Squadron ORB gives no details of its activities after the Armistice, so unfortunately no record of a loss, if indeed it was an airplane of this unit.

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    James Patrick Murray

    http://www.trincoll.edu/pub/reporter...spective.shtml

    he is also on the 1918 AFL

    Service record available for 3.45

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8209574

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    Who's who in American Aeronautics ...
    Aviation Publishing Corporation, 1928
    JAMES PATRICK MURRAY
    Air Mail Pilot; born, Mystic, Conn., Nov. 23, 1892; B. S
    1914, Trinity College. Aeronautical Activities and War Serv1ce:
    Enl1sted in R F. C., June 1917; trained at Toronto, Camp Borden,
    Can., Salisbury Plains, England; flying instructor R F. C.,
    England, March 1918 to March 1919;
    joined 110th Sqdn., R. A. F., April 1919; Army of
    Occupation, April 1919 to Sept 919, carrying
    mail from Folkestone, England to Cologne, Germany;
    with Boeing Air Transport Inc.
    Present Occupation: Air Mail Pilot. Addres:s:
    309 Cheynne Apartments, Cheynne, Wyo

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    BTW

    Lt Milton M Murphy is

    Lt. Milton Miles Murphy
    USAC O-16309
    Born in Washington, USA on 12 Oct 1895.
    Milton Miles married Josephine Rebecca Munsell.
    He passed away on 19 Jun 1963 in Riverside, California, USA.

    Can't find an RAF/RFC record for him


    Who's who in American Aeronautics ...
    Aviation Publishing Corporation, 1928

    MILTON MILES MURPHY 2nd Lieut., Air Corps; born, Pomeroy, Wash.,
    Oct. 12, 1895. Aeronautical Activities and War Service:
    Served with 349th Aero Sadn. Dec. 1917 to Jan. 1919;
    attached to British R. A. F. June 1918 to
    Dec. 1918; civlilan barnstorming Jan. 1924 to Dec. 1924.
    Flying Rating: A. P., U. S. Air Corps, Nov. 10, P
    resent Occupation: and Lieut. Air Corps.
    Address: c/o U. S. Army Air Corps,
    War Department, Washington, D. C

    As he was not with RAF in 1919 unlikely to be him. JAMES PATRICK MURRAY is my favourite.....
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 24th February 2016 at 13:44.

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    Hi Paul,

    James Murray has become my strongest candidate over the past days as well, especially with the reference to the airmail service to Cologne and 110 Squadron. Perhaps a more personal account of his career may reveal other details.

    Did some further search for Buoy 6 and Dutch newspapers of around that time indicate a spot well W. off Den Helder.

    Thanks for all the help so far,

    Leendert

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