LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant John Howard MURPHY

Service No: 408194
Born: Colac VIC, 6 December 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1941 (at Hobart TAS)
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 460 Squadron Wellington aircraft R1695), North Sea, 10 September 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Busche Murphy and Penelope Murphy; husband of Edna Joan Murphy, of Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Hobart TAS
Remembered: Panel 113, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 10-11 September 1942
Target: Dusseldorf
Total Force: Despatched – 476, Attacking – 360
RAAF Force: No. 460 Despatched – 10, Attacking – 7
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 760
Total Aircraft Lost: 30
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No.460 – 2

On 10th-11th September, however, a good concentration of bombs on the town was again made possible by the absence of cloud, though some bombs fell as far away as Krefeld and Munchen Gladbach. An additional 100 acres in the centre of the city and thirty more factories were destroyed, and this raid in conjunction with the first, made Dusseldorf, in relation to its size, more heavily and effectively damaged than even Cologne.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 328-9

Wellington R1695 of 460 Squadron RAAF took off from RAF Breighton at 2022 hours on the night of 10th September 1942 to bomb Dusseldorf, Germany. R1695 carried a bomb load of 810 x 4 lbs (2 kg) incendiaries, and was one of ten aircraft that took part in the raid. Due to an engine failure R1295 made a forced landing in the sea at 2155 hours 15 miles north of Cromer, UK. Bombs and petrol were jettisoned into the sea.

Three crew members of R1695 were:

Sergeant Lawrence Matthew John Evans (407735) (Navigator) Rescued, Discharged from the RAAF 23 November 1945
Sergeant Ronald William Lawton DFC & Bar (406599) (Air Bomber) Rescued, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 April 1945
Sergeant John Howard Murphy (408194) (Rear Gunner)
Flying Officer Eric Cliffe Parton (411102) (Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant James Christopher Pearson (404941) (Pilot)

Both Sergeant Evans and Sergeant Lawton were picked up by launches suffering bruises and exposure and were taken to RAF Hospital, Great Yarmouth.

No. 460 Squadron lost Wellington Z1216 (Flight Sergeant John Alexander Bryden (404601) (Pilot)) on 11 September 1942.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/146/181

Bibliography:

Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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