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Thread: F/Sgt William 'Bumphery' DFM, June 1945

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    Default F/Sgt William 'Bumphery' DFM, June 1945

    Hello again everyone

    I've come across the following report in the Newcastle Journal, June 2nd 1945:

    Shields man gets D.F.M.
    For his services in the Indian Ocean on October 12 last year, when he took part in the sinking of an enemy submarine, Flight Sergt. William Bumphery (22), of Berkley Street, South Shields, has been awarded the D.F.M. Bumphery volunteered for the R.A.F. in 1941 and was formerly an apprenctice gardener.


    So, a Google search brings up a bit fat zero for 'Bumphery' and DFM. Air 78/24 has a William Albert Bumphrey, service No. 1495791, with a handwritten note saying he is now called Humphrey.

    A quick search on FreeBMD has a William A. Bumfrey, registered South Shields, December 1921, which almost fits the details.

    His service number is amongst those allocated at Padgate, April 1941, so that fits too. Can't find anything on the LG website for 1495791 and Humphrey/Bumphrey/Bumphery/Bumfrey etc though.

    Any helpful suggestions most gratefully received - I'm missing something obvious here, I know!

    Regards

    Simon

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    This is a good one Simon.
    I even tried locating the submarine said to have been sunk on 12 October 1944 (year assumed).
    UBoat.net lists no subs lost in Indian Ocean in October44, in fact there are only a couple in the whole of 1944 lost in that area. I could of course be Japanese, or even ex-Italian. There is a list of Japanese subs on Wikipedia which were lost but none seems to fit.

    Found this at National Archives, but not sure it helps:

    War Office: Home Guard records, Second World War. Durham 8th Battalion. William Bumphrey - born 16/10/1921 - Durham Home Guard, 8th Battalion.

    Held by: The National Archives - War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
    Date: 14 May 1940 - 31 December 1945
    Reference: WO 409/27/23/444
    Subjects: Armed Forces (General Administration) | Army | Conflict | Operations, battles and campaigns
    Name Bumphrey, William. Reg

    Good hunting.

    Martyn

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    Thanks for the reply Martyn.

    I had a look for a suitable U-boat, and as you say, nothing seems to fit. U-198 was a possibility on August 12th 1944, but that was sunk by ships. UIT-22 was sunk by a Catalina of 262 (S.A.A.F.) Sqn on March 11th 1944, off the Cape of Good Hope, but that's a bit of a stretch date-wise, and location-wise too.

    The details you have for the Home Guard William Bumphrey seem to fit the same details as my South Shields-born chap.

    The hunt continues...

    Regards

    Simon

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    Simon do you know if the U-198 sinking by ships was in any way aided by air recon? It says '... he took part in ... ' which could mean he was in the mix somewhere rather than the main participant.

    Just a thought.

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Good point Bruce.

    A little bit of searching found this very comprehensive and detailed account of the sinking of U-198 after it had attacked and sunk the SS Empire City:

    https://forum.axishistory.com//viewtopic.php?t=144196

    which includes this snippet:

    In darkness, the four frigates continued the Vignot search relying on radar to catch the U-boat should it decide to make a break on the surface. The track took the ships in a wide cast upwind of the diving position, with Ormsby intending to continue the plan to cover the south-western sector, aiming to be to the west of the datum by dawn. From here he would make a sweep through the original diving position in an easterly direction at high speed towards the light horizon. The sloops, meanwhile, were to rendezvous with the carriers at 0600 on 11 August. However, this plan was, in large measure, disrupted by events, for at 0211, Taff intercepted a contact report from the Catalina “T” of 209 Squadron which reported a radar contact...For the rest of the night Ormsby’s ships chased shadows and were never able to correlate the positions given by the T/209, or its reliefs. The position reported appeared to be some 25-30 miles too far to the north, probably due to navigational errors by T/209. This confusion was amplified by the inability of the RAF aircraft and Ormsby’s ships to establish reliable communications with each other.

    So, 209 sent at least two Catalinas to the search for U-198.

    Regards

    Simon

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