Thompson, Hugh Conn (No. 52755)

Thompson, Hugh Conn (Hugo)

Pilot Officer

No. 52755, 44 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Killed in action on Tuesday 22 June 1943 (aged 21)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 133)

Bangor and District War Memorial (as Thompson J.C.)

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s)

Bangor Grammar School

BIOGRAPHY

Hugh Conn (Hugo) Thompson was born on 23 May 1922 and it was reported that he was the only son of Annie Thompson (nee Conn) and the late Hugh Thompson who lived at Penlee, Bellevue Road, Carnalea.

Hugh Thompson and Annie Conn were married on 15 January 1918 in St. Thomas’s Church of Ireland Church, Shankill, Belfast.  Hugh Thompson, a Royal Navy sailor from 163 Grosvenor Road, Belfast was a son of Thomas Thompson, a rent agent.  Annie Conn from 120 Grosvenor Road, Belfast was a daughter of George Conn, a checker.

Hugo Thompson’s father was a coastguard officer who, for a time, was stationed at Donaghadee.  Coastguard archives indicate that Hugo’s father was born in 1892 and that he joined the coastguard on 27 November 1935.  He went first to Killough, Co. Down and transferred to Donaghadee on 1 February 1937.

Hugh and Annie Thompson (nee Conn) had at least two children:

Kathleen Elizabeth (born 29 September 1918 at 120 Grosvenor Road, Belfast)

Hugh Conn (Hugo, born 23 May 1922)

Hugo Thompson was educated at Bangor Central Public Elementary School and Bangor Grammar School from 1934 until 1938 (except for a few months when he attended Down High School, Downpatrick).  He was remembered by the headmaster as ‘a simple, steady, sturdy, unassuming boy who worked hard at his books and played hard on the sports field.’  His ambition was to join the Royal Air Force and he passed his Apprentice Clerkship Examination (RAF) in April 1938.

During the Second World War Pilot Officer Hugo Thompson (No. 52755) served with the Royal Air Force in Bomber Command and he was killed during the night of 21/22 June 1943.  He was one of an eight-man crew aboard an Avro Lancaster Mark III aircraft (LM330) that took off at 11.50 pm on 21 June 1943 from RAF Dunholme Lodge in Lincolnshire on a mission to bomb Krefeld in Germany.  Their aircraft was lost without trace and all aboard are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.  In addition to Pilot Officer Hugh Conn Thompson the other seven crew members who died that night were:

  • Pilot Officer Lawrence Sinclair Welsh (aged 21) from Edinburgh
  • Sergeant Louis Renton McGrath from Belfast
  • Sergeant Samuel David Mindel (aged 24)
  • Sergeant Leonard Arthur Harrison (aged 21) from Sydenham, London
  • Sergeant Norman Nicholas England (aged 24) from Belfast
  • Sergeant Norman Metcalfe (aged 20) from Nelson, Lancashire
  • Sergeant James Henry Arlow (aged 23) from Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Hugo Thompson’s sister, Kathleen Elizabeth Thompson, married George Paul Richard Brewer.  Their son, who was born on 4 June 1944 and baptised in Bangor Abbey Church of Ireland Church on 26 July 1944, was named after his uncle Hugo Thompson – Hugo Kenneth George Brewer.

They too lived at Penlee, Bellevue Road, Carnalea.

Pilot Officer Hugh Conn Thompson (No. 52755) was 21 when he died, and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial (as Thompson J.C.); in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s) and in Bangor Grammar School.