06.08.1942 No. 58 Squadron Whitley Z9525 GE-J P/O. Gordon J. Strutt
Operation: Anti-Submarine Patrol
Date: 06th August 1942 (Thursday)
Unit: 58 Squadron (Coastal Command - 19 Group)
Type: Whitley VII
Base: RAF Wick, Scotland
Location: North Sea - exact location not known
Pilot: P/O. Gordon James Strutt DFM. J/15635 RCAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed
Pilot 2: Sgt. Leonard Stanley Williams AUS/403246 RAAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
Obs: Sgt. Geoffrey Arthur Morgan 1183371 RAFVR Age 26. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward Thomas Prior 1166112 RAFVR Age 26. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Edward William Griffiths 1051151 RAFVR Age 26. Missing - believed killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Hooper 984904 RAFVR Age 22. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
The squadron had moved from Bomber to Coastal Command the previous year moving to RAF ST. Eval in Cornwall, England with a detachment to RAF Wick, Scotland to take part in anti-submarine patrols.
On Thursday 06TH August Whitley Z9525 took off from RAF Wick at 12:15 hrs on an anti-submarine patrol (‘Flora’) They were due to return at 22:30 hrs but they failed to return. No details but probably lost over the North Sea.
Above: 24 June 1942, Gallantry in action won those decorations you see on the chests of these two young Canadians. Both are Distinguished Flying Medals. Looking pleased, on the left, is Sgt. Kenneth William Craig (1), Ottawa, while Flight Sgt Gordon James Strutt, Shawville, Quebec, is a bit more serious at the moment. (courtesy Francois Dutil)
DFM citation: Cited with Sergeant Craig. "Flight Sergeant Strutt and Sergeant Craig were captain and second pilot respectively of an aircraft recently engaged on an anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay. A U-Boat was observed surfaced on the sea and under the direction of his captain, Sergeant Craig immediately attacked the submarine from a height of about forty feet. The attack was carried out with such speed and skill that the explosions detonated before the U-Boat has time to submerge completely. At least one exploded alongside the hull. The submarine came to the surface for a few moments, after which its stern rose almost vertically and then submerged at a steep angle, and a large patch of oil and very large air bubbles appeared. The success achieved reflects the greatest credit on both these airmen".
Armstrong Whitworth Whitley: Two 1145hp Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines - Wing span: 25.6m, length 21.5m, height 4.57m - Empty weight 8768kg, max take-off weight 15196kg - Maximum speed 357km/h, cruising about 297km/h - Service ceiling Range 2650km with 1360kg, 756km with 3175kg - One .303 Vickers K gun in the nose turret, four .303 Browning guns in the tail turret, up to 3175kg of bombs.
(1) Kenneth William Craig J/17579- RCAF left service as a Fl/Lt. on the 24th September 1945. Deceased 9th December 1988. (Information courtesy Francois Dutil - see Paradie archive on this website for further details)
P/O. Gordon James Strutt DFM. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 101. Son of John Herbert and Mary Ann Strutt, of Shawville, Province of Quebec, Canada.
Sgt. Leonard Stanley Williams. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 113. Born on the 06th August 1921, the son of Stanley and Ethel Williams, of Flers Avenue, Earlwood, New South Wales, Australia.
Sgt. Geoffrey Arthur Morgan. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 89. Next of kin details unavailable - are you able to assist?
Sgt. Edward Thomas Prior. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 91. Son of Edward and Rose Prior, husband of Joan Prior, of St. Margarets, Ware, Hertfordshire, England.
Sgt. Edward William Griffiths. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 84. Son of Edward and Jessie Griffiths, husband of Olive Gwendoline Griffiths, of Woolton, Lancashire, England.
Sgt. Albert Hooper. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 86. Son of Alexander and Lily Hooper, of Castleford, Yorkshire, husband of Vera Hooper and father to Albert, of Castleford, Yorkshire, England.
Page placed for Raymond Andrews - relative of Sgt. Hooper. With thanks to Wings over Caithness for information. Also to Francois Dutil for DFM photograph. Further sources as quoted below.