DennyA

Trying to nail down RCAF Wellington squadron

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My great uncle, Frank Morgan, was a Pilot Officer for the RCAF in WW2. I'm trying to nail down the models of planes he flew, and which squadron he was in.

He died in a Wellington returning from a raid on Tobruk on July 13, 1942. Their fuel tanks were shot up during the (successful) raid, and the plane was blown off course by adverse weather. He ordered the crew to bail out, but insisted on staying with the plane to try to bring it down safely. The plane crashed north of Cairo, and he did the next day in #13 Scottish General Hospital.

He'd been shot down once before. On October 20, 1941, his memoirs say the crew he was on had just dropped a 4,000-pound bomb on Bremen, Germany when they were attacked by night fighters. They had to ditch in the North Sea and spent the night in a dinghy before being rescued. I assume this was a Wellington as well, but the book by his niece doesn't call that out.

There's a photo of him in the book standing in front of a Fleet Finch, which is a plane I hadn't heard of before.

Anyway, given the dates and targets, and the fact that he was flying for the RCAF and definitely in a Wellington on his final flight, anyone know how I can determine which squadron he was flying for? I'd like to find more info about his service (important) and (unimportant) it would be cool to get the FCS Wellington painted to match his plane or one in his squadron as a virtual tribute. 

Any pointers would be appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Hi Denny,

Maybe the 420 Squadron which was part of the #6 Bombing Group, which my Uncle flew in (RNZAF, he flew Hudsons with RCAF and RAF and was killed on a training mission with all crew except one perished ).

This web site may help, I hope.

http://www.aquatax.ca/Wellingtons.html

Edited by ZKOKQ
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Presumably this is your Uncle:

P/O Franklin Benedict MORGAN (Service No: J/15074), whose date of death matches with your information. He is buried in the Heliopolis War Cemetary in Egypt. He was in 38 Squadron, which did indeed fly Wellingtons, in Europe and later in the Mediterranean Theatre, which matches up with your information. Here is a link to some further information on 38 Sqn, including a chronology of the variants of Wellington aircraft they used.  

http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/38_wwII.html

Pic of a pair of 38 Sqn Wellingtons in flight: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208831

You can't see the squadron code markings on this picture, but 38 Sqn had the code letters 'NH' at the start of WW2, but it was quickly changed to 'HD' when hostilities commenced, so this the markings you would see on a WW2 operational 38 Sqn Wellington.

 

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I was so tempted, when I first read the OP's post, to suggest sourcing you, Alan, because I had feeling you might come up trumps.

If OP confirms your reply, then [Click and drag to move] once again, Alan, you have delivered. Kudos to you.👆

 

 

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Thanks you so much, Alan and ZKOKQ! This is super-helpful! 

That is indeed my great uncle Frank. 

I also asked on pprune.org and got some additional information (but it doesn't duplicate yours, Alan, so the two combined are a wealth of background!). If anyone's curious:

https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/613971-rcaf-wellington-pilot-1942-egypt-how-find-details.html

Thanks again for taking the time to help me find this information! It's greatly appreciated.

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Good to know you've found what you were looking for. 🙂

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