View Full Version : 430515 - Unaccounted airwoman and airmen - 15-5-1943

Henk Welting
20th June 2010, 13:52
What were the places of death registration for:

A - Died on active service:
LAC Henry E. CREASEY - 1304130, and
ACW2 Sara J. FARRAWAY - 2141213.

B - Not found in Flight Global:
F/Sgt (WOp/Ag) Edward W. RUSBY - 1311406 - 279 Sqn (Bircham Newton, Norfolk) - 279 Sqn equipped with Hudsons but can't find a matching a/c serial, and
AC2 Ronald W. PURDY - 1716082 - commemorated on Panel 290 of the Runnymede Memorial (also looking for his unit).

C - Looking for the GRO-listing of:
W/Oš (WOp/Ag) Harold C. FERGUSON - RCAF R/68669, who died of natural causes (Flight Global and Allison), but whose name is commemorated on Column 272 of the Alamein Memorial (grave lost ?).

D - Proposed aircraft losses:
Beaufighter IC - T3292 - 9 (C)OTU - crashed on overshoot Crosby.
Beaufighter IF - R2185 - 51 OTU - crashed on overshoot Twinwood Farm.
Master I - N7843 - 5 (P)AFU - crashed in forced landing Red Hall Farm, Broome, near Stourbridge, Worcestershire.

Regards and thanks for your help.

20th June 2010, 15:38
Hi Henk

LAC Henry E. CREASEY - Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire
ACW2 Sara J. FARRAWAY - Uxbridge
F/Sgt (WOp/Ag) Edward W. RUSBY - he was killed by a single bullet fired by a Dornier Do 24 during an ASR near Borkum whilst in Hudson 'W' of No 279 Sqn ('Dinghy Drop' by Tom Docherty).
W/Oš (WOp/Ag) Harold C. FERGUSON - died from natural causes, no unit given (TSGNO)
AC2 Ronald W. PURDY - Surry Mid East
W/Oš (WOp/Ag) Harold C. FERGUSON - not listed in GRO as he is RCAF


Henk Welting
20th June 2010, 17:22
Thanks Malcolm. Was RUSBY's death registered in Bircham Newton ? Any idea about the unit of AC2 PURDY ?

20th June 2010, 19:56
Hi Henk

I haven't been able to find Rusby listed in either the 2nd or 3rd Quarter of 1943.

I haven't got a unit for Purdy at the moment.


21st June 2010, 11:38
Ferguson's death certificate from the government in Ontario is provided on ancestry.com.

It says, "Died at Sea, Intercranial Haemorage". A quick look at this condition and it can be from trauma or naturally occuring.

his trade or occupation is listed as Wireless operator / Air Gunner.

Son of Mollie and Myles Ferguson of Ontario. His address is given at Fort William, Ontario.

So perhaps he was buried at sea having died while being shipped to the ME.

30th July 2011, 13:08
Hi Henk,

From No.9 (C)OTU ORB
Sgt Chalmers of No.8 course on first solo Beaufighter J.3292 bounced on landing, attempted to take off but engine cut and aircraft crashed, caught fire. Sgt Chalmers seriously injured.


Henk Welting
30th July 2011, 17:36
Thanks Ross. We know that CHALMERS aircraft was T3292.

3rd July 2012, 01:46
I came across Sgt Rusby while looking for information about another crew from No.279. He is recorded as having been killed by enemy fire while the aircraft he was on board was attacking a Dornier 24.

The entry is as follows:

May 15th 1943
Hudson W
F/Sgt Mogridge, A.H. Pilot
F/Sgt Macgregor, H. Nav
F/Sgt Rusby, E.W. WO/AG
F/Sgt Kidd, C. A.G.
Airborne Lifeboat
Up 1835
Down 2159
Airborne Bircham Newton to search for dinghies in area 29 miles N.N.W. of Borkum, 220 miles from base. Airborne lifeboat carried. At 2016 when on datum enemy aircraft, which had been sighted five miles to port at 2011 appeared to be circling same position. It was identified as a Do.24. Enemy aircraft was photographed. At 2024 W/279 attacked Do.24, and our navigator and rear gunner were hit. Hudson took evasive action and broke away. The combat report indicates that the enemy was flying at 100 feet when first sighted. F/Sgt Mogridge, pilot of R, approached Do.24 from Starboard beam. Enemy opened fire with midship guns at 800 yards range. F/Sgt Mogridge closed to 300 yards, fired short burst with front guns, following up with long burst. Bullets were observed striking the Dornier on starboard of engine. At this stage, F/Sgt Macgregor, Navigator, was hit by bullet in left thigh. Enemy aircraft then turned away to port. F/Sgt Mogridge broke off engagement and took evasive action. Enemy aircraft last observed on course of 170 degrees approximately at 100 ft. During combat F/Sgt Rusby, rear gunner of W, was killed by bullet entering through rear of turret. Landed Bircham Newton.

Henk Welting
4th July 2012, 10:14
Thanks Al for additional info on crew and accident; annotations made.

11th April 2018, 14:30

LAC Henry E. CREASEY - 1304130 - the Evening Despatch of May 19th 1943 reported the following:

Death from natural causes was the verdict of a Stratford-on-Avon inquest on Leading Aircraftman Henry Creasey, aged 35, of Countesthorpe, Leicester, who died when helping the N.F.S. at a rick fire at Bearley.
Several airmen fought the fire with wet sacks before the brigade arrived and N.F.S. fireman George Sweetman, of South Lodge, Humberslade, Hockley Heath, said Creasey came up to him wanting to help. He remarked: "I hope you won't mind this butting in." Creasey held the hose behind witness who took the full weight. Feeling Creasey moving from him, witness looked round and saw him lying on the ground.
Medical evidence was that owing to decline in health Creasey was moved from Grade 1 to Grade 3, and put on light work. Death was due to disease of the coronary arteries.
R.A.F. officers stated that Creasey was a very nice fellow hwo was highly esteemed. He leaves a widow and two children.



12th April 2018, 17:32
Only 35 years old, thats terribly sad. Children born in 1935 and 1938.

8th May 2020, 01:35
Ronald William PURDY 1716082
He doesn't appear on the RAF GRO list which I wasn't surprised about, as the panel number was high.
A search on ancestry.com throws up:

Name: Ronald William Purdy
Register Type: Burial
Death Date: abt 1943
Burial or Cremation Date: 24 May 1943
Burial or Cremation Place: Sutton, London, England

So, died, buried but the grave details weren't available to the CWGC post war.

18th March 2021, 09:47
UPGRADE to Gilbert Earl Park R 213885, he died in the station hospital at Number 2 BGS of a coronary thrombosis

24th March 2021, 00:54
UPGRADE to Harold Clifford Ferguson R 68669, attached to 70 OTU, He died of an intracranial haemorrhage whilst proceeding to Cairo for a medical examination by ship and was buried at sea

6th July 2021, 14:04
Sara Jessie Farraway 2141213 , an ACH/Cook attached to Number 1 Signals depot, was admitted dangerously ill to the Hillingdon County hospital where she died the following day at 05:40 hours of meningitis

26th January 2023, 22:25
Ernest Smith 1621050 , attached to Number 175 Wing, was admitted seriously ill to the British military hospital at Calcutta on 15 May becoming dangerously ill the same day, dying of a perforated ulcer secondary to typhoid fever