Warrant Officer John Halstead PUGH

Service No: 416998
Born: Murray Bridge SA, 4 October 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1941
Unit: No. 175 Squadron (RAF), RAF Holmsley South, Hampshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 175 Squadron Typhoon aircraft MN456), off the French Coast, 5 June 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Angelo Victor and Millicent May Pugh, of Murray Bridge, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Murray Bridge SA
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Brother of Sergeant Peter Kimber Pugh (416700)

While flying Typhoon MN456 of No. 175 Squadron on 5 June 1944 and while he was returning from an operational sortie on a target west of Cherbourg Harbour, France, at 0845 hours Warrant Officer Pugh reported that his engine had cut out and efforts to pick it up were of no avail. Losing height, he baled out at 3,000 feet about 15 miles north of Cherbourg Harbour. The parachute drifted and he struck the water south east of a patch of oil caused by the aircraft crash.

The seven accompanying aircraft of the squadron orbited the spot. The sea was very rough and the pilot and chute were lost from sight soon after he entered the water. The pilot was still attached to the chute once he hit the water. No dinghy was seen. The squadron remained over the spot for some time, several maydays and fixes were obtained, and the last aircraft left the scene after 20 minutes. Another Squadron of Typhoons stayed over the spot until 1330 hours when the search was called off with no trace of the missing pilot being seen. There was no evidence that the aircraft had been hit by anti-aircraft fire.


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, 166/33/174

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