11.07.1942 No. 105 Squadron Mosquito FB.IV. DK299 GB-S Fl/Lt. George P. Hughes MiD.
Date: 11th July 1942 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 105 Squadron
Type: Mosquito FB.IV
Base: RAF Horsham St. Faiths, Norwich, Norfolk
Location: River Rejsby, Nr Skæbæk, Denmark
Pilot: Fl/Lt. George Pryce Hughes MiD. J/4819 RCAF Age 29. Killed
Obs: F/O. Thomas Albert Gabe 65556 RAFVR Age ? Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Initial target had been the ‘U’ boat pens at Flensburg, however it seems that they chose the secondary target of the railway yards at Tønder. They followed the lines to the north and attacked a train at Skæbæk. During this attack they were fired on by anti-aircraft guns and then hit by a Bf109G-1 down by Unt. Herbert Biermann of 2./JG1 at approximately 19:09 hrs.
Area of loss with insert, Fl/Lt. George Pryce Hughes MiD (courtesy Sherborne School - see credits)
According to the officer in charge of the Missing Research and Recovery Unit dated 11th December 1945: ‘The aircraft tried to crash land in fields close to the river Rejsby å (marked with blue spots on map) - the aircraft hit the ground and continued for about 2 km breaking up as it went through various wires and hitting banks. One of the crew was killed during this period, the other, seriously injured died on the way to hospital in Ribe.’
The Germans took away the bodies - they would not inform anyone where they were taking them - however, further investigation reveals that two bodies were taken from Ribe to the cemetery at Esbjerg and buried on the 16th July 1942.
Graves of crew, taken by Aircrew Remembered during their visit in 2011 - anyone who would like a higher resolution of the graves please dont hesitate to ask.
Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them.
Fl/Lt. George Pryce Hughes MiD. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt) Grave AIII.11.19. Further information courtesy Sherborne School, Dorset: Born 24 October 1912. Son of George D. Hughes and Hope Julia Hughes, of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Attended Sherborne School (The Green) 1926-1930. Estanciero and livestock trader. On leaving School, he returned to the Argentine. On the outbreak of war he joined the RCAF, and after training in Canada, was posted to a squadron in England. Father died of tuberculosis in 1929. Initially sought a commission in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, but was advised by letter of 2 September 1940 that he was ineligible for a commission on entry as he was under 30 he would have to enrol as an Ordinary Seaman and hope for a commission later. Enlisted in Ottawa, 14 November 1940. Trained at No. 1 ITS (graduated 9 December 1940), No.10 EFTS (graduated 28 January 1941, 6th in class of 30) , and No.5 SFTS (graduated 10 April 1941, 7th in class of 43, commissioned 11 April 1941). Posted to Debert, 21 April 1941 - to RAF Overseas, 15 May 1941. Posted to No.13 OTU, 7 June 1941; to No.139 Squadron, 7 August 1941 - detached duties in Egypt, 21 November to 9 December 1941 - to No.107 Squadron, 18 December 1941 (or 4 January 1942); attached to No.2 School of Air Navigation, 28 January 1942 - posted to No.105 Squadron, 14 February 1942.
F/O. Thomas Albert Gabe. Esbjerg Cemetery (Fourfelt) Grave AIII.11.18. Next of kin details currently unavailable, are you able to assist with these?
With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information. Other sources as quoted below.