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Thomas Murphy

W/O Thomas Murphy NFD798604

Wireless operator / Air gunner
Served with Coastal Command Group 19
502 squadron St Eval, Cornwall
14 squadron Chivenor, Devon
Operational aircraft flown Halifax, Wellington, and Whitley
Total of 68 sorties
Operational flying hours 600
Total flying hours 919

Crew members
F/S C. T. Ballard
F/S B. L. Morgan
F/S A. G. Manning
F/O N. W. Henshaw
F/S J. S. Ham
F/S T. J. Murphy
Sgt F. A. Trueman

Warrant Officer Thomas Murphy was to gain some repute as a "U-boat killer" over the Bay of Biscay. One of his attacks was made seven seconds after a German submarine had submerged. The damage inflicated caused her to surface twice, with bows protruding at an angle of 30 degrees.
The Admiralty, always reluctant to confirm claims unless backed by photographic evidence, credited this as a probable kill.
On another occasion Murphy attacked a U-Boat on the surface with depth charges from a height of 50 feet. Columns of water and wreckage rising front of conning tower proclaimed another victim.

Thomas Joseph Murphy - Royal Air Force WWII

War Veterans News-Views By Herb Wells
The Evening Telegram, St Johns Nfld, Friday, Aug 6, 1965

In the early hours of Friday morning past, a well known and highly respected Air Force veteran answered the last roll call on the D.V.A. ward of the General Hospital. The sun had barely risen on that day when I was informed of the sudden passing of my good friend and comrade, Tom Murphy, at the early age of 43. To say I was shocked was to put it mildly.

Tom was one oft those gallant young Newfoundlanders who served in the Royal Air Force during the early dark days of the Second World War. He was among those young men who were carefree and slap happy, who came to the aid of the Mother Country in time of greatest need. For never in history had Great Britain and the free world had to depend on the Air Force to defend its freedom. But the die was cast and the lot was theirs. They rallied and came through magnificently, for the chapter they wrote in history in those days will live on long after this generation has ended its span of life on this planet.

After that, he was discharged from the Air Force. Tom took up employment with the Department of Health as an X-ray technician at the General Hospital. He has become well known, for just about every patient who entered the hospital had to be X-rayed by Tom.

On many occasion he took time out during lunch to visit his comrades on the D.V.A. Ward and had a chat with them. He brought comfort to many of them, especially those who were far away from home. His visits were always looked forward to, for Tom was blessed with the personality as the old saying goes,”who could bring you alive if you were dead.” He also was an active member of Brach No.1 of The Royal Canadian Legion.

His funeral took place from St. Patrick’s Church with High Mass of Requiem, and was one of the most largely attended in St. John’s in recent years.

They came to pay their respects from all walks of life doctors, Lawyers, squadron leaders, air force gunners, etc.

As a large group gathered around the graveside of his last resting place at Belvedere Cemetery as the casket bearing his remains was slowly lowered his comrades of the Air Force and other veterans stood in silence with the scarlet poppy of remembrance in their coats. The voice of Comrade Greg O’grady, President of Branch No.1 of the Royal Canadian Legion, a veteran of the Royal Air Force himself, could be heard under the stillness of an August sky, reciting the Legion Ritual

One could visualize what they were thinking, for the clear skies of the capital city on that morning resembled those days of the Battle of Britain, were many of those present wrestled with the Nazi Air Force over the green fields of England to earn the title from the late Sir Winston Churchill. “ Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.“ So, we say “farewell “ to our renowned Sergeant Major.

“ They shall not grow old as we are left to grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn: At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”

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Military Records Contact: Daniel B. Breen

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