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The Airmen's Stories - F/O O B Morrogh-Ryan


Oliver Bertram Morrogh-Ryan, of Brettanby Manor, Yorkshire was born on 29th March 1919 in County Meath, Ireland, the son of Leonard and Laura Morrogh-Ryan.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1938.


Above: he married on 25th April 1940.


He was serving with 41 Squadron at Hornchurch in May 1940 and over Dunkirk on 1st June he shared in destroying a He111.

On 5th September he claimed a Me109 and two days later made a forced-landing in Kemsley's Field, Star Lane, Brickfields, Great Wakering after a combat over Hornchurch, in Spitfire X4318.




Morrogh-Ryan was posted away on 18th December 1940 to 96 Squadron at its formation at Cranage from 422 Flight.

He was killed on 26th July 1941 as a Flying Officer with 68 Squadron, operating in Beaufighters from High Ercall.

His Beaufighter T3354 crashed into the Wrekin circuit while conducting searchlight co-operation flying practice in bad weather.

The accident card states the cause as being 'a lack of judgment in flying low without knowing his position'.

It did however suggest that 'the Wrekin be marked with a Beacon or light. It has already caused too many fatal crashes'.

The Squadron ORB states:

Towards 0100 hours on the 26th the cloud base came down suddenly to approx 750/1000 feet and several of the pilots who were then airborne experienced difficulty in locating the base. At 01.32 hour F/O Morrogh-Ryan and his operator Sgt. HR Willis, who were in difficulties, crashed into the south side of the Wrekin and were both killed. Their machine was completely wrecked. Information regarding the exact locality of the crash was scant but a search party immediately left the station and they were most willingly assisted by the Wellington police and the Home Guard. S/Ldr. Jackson (Station Medical Officer) first discovered the machine and the bodies of the crew. Owing to the darkness of the night and the steep nature of the terrain the work of the stretcher party was extremely difficult. The cause of the crash was attributed by the court of inquiry to the sudden deterioration in weather (the cloud base came down to 800 feet) and that the pilot was unable to see either flood light or funnel lights owing to cloud.


Morrogh-Ryan was 22 and is buried in St Cuthberts churchyard, Barton, Yorkshire.




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