Morrow, Hugh Francis (No. J/28294)

Morrow, Hugh Francis (Frank)

Flying Officer (Pilot)

No. J/28294, 432 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force

Killed in action on Saturday 17 June 1944 (aged 22)

Buried:

Gorssel General Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands (Row A Grave 19)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canadian Virtual War Memorial (Internet)

Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance (Page 399)

Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church

Page 96 in the book A Light for the Road (Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church 1841-1991) by John W. McConaghy and Eleanor M. McConaghy

Annals of Helen’s Bay Presbyterian Church

BIOGRAPHY

Hugh Francis (Frank) Morrow was born on 18 June 1921 (from his attestation papers) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and he was a son of Hugh Morrow (Hugh’s father lived in Limavady, Co. Londonderry) and Sarah Williamson Morrow (nee McFarlane) who were married on 11 September 1914 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.  Hugh Morrow Senior worked as a grocer and in April 1909 he moved to Vancouver, Canada.  In the ship’s manifest Hugh was described as a merchant when he returned to Ireland in June 1914 in advance of his wedding.  In September 1914, after they were married, Hugh and Sarah Morrow travelled to Vancouver aboard the SS St. Louis.  Hugh and Sarah Morrow had at least three children:

Henry (born around 1916)

Eileen (born around 1917)

Hugh Francis (Frank, born 18 June 1921 in Vancouver, British Columbia)

Frank Morrow was living at 2497 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver and working as a bank clerk when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on 25 August 1941.  During the Second World War he served with 432 Squadron in Bomber Command.  On 17 June 1944 Flying Officer (Pilot) Hugh Francis (Frank) Morrow was one of a seven-man crew (all RCAF personnel) aboard a Handley Page Halifax aircraft (NA516) that took off from RAF East Moor, Yorkshire at 23.16 hours on 16 June 1944 on a mission to bomb Sterkrade Halten in Germany.  On their way back to base their aircraft was shot down from 18,000 feet by a German night fighter as they approached the Dutch coast and they crashed at Almen in Gelderland.  Four crew members were injured (two of them were captured and taken Prisoner-of-War) – Sergeant G. Gelfand, Warrant Officer L.R. McElroy, Sergeant V.R. Herrick (POW) and Flying Officer J.A. Slimmon (POW).  Three crew members were killed:

  • Flying Officer (Pilot) Hugh Francis Morrow
  • Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) John Markey Johnston
  • Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) Jack Laverne Shanks

All three were buried in Gorssel General Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands (Row A Graves 19, 20 and 21).

Flying Officer (Pilot) Frank Morrow (No. J/28294) was 22 when he was killed, and he is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial (Internet); on Page 399 in the Canadian Second World War Book of Remembrance; in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church; on Page 96 in the book A Light for the Road (Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church 1841-1991) by John W. McConaghy and Eleanor M. McConaghy and also, in the annals of Helen’s Bay Presbyterian Church.