Author Topic: Pilot Officer Michael Mudie  (Read 750 times)

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Offline John

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Pilot Officer Michael Mudie
« on: August 07, 2016, 15:21:33 pm »
MUDIE, MICHAEL ROBERT
Rank:Pilot Officer
Trade:Pilot
Service No:42073
Date of Death:15/07/1940
Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force 615 Sqdn.
Grave Reference: Class A. Grave 1596.
Cemetery:MOLESEY CEMETERY


From the Battle of Britain London Monument

Michael Robert Mudie was born in Singapore on 26th February 1916 and joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1939. With training completed, he arrived at 11 Group Pool on 20th November 1939. With conversion to Hurricanes completed he was transferred to 2 Ferry Pilot Pool on 21st December as a reserve for France. He later joined 615 Squadron there.

He was shot down by Me109's in combat over a convoy off Dover on 14th July in Hurricane L1584. He baled out, badly wounded, and was rescued from the sea by the Navy and admitted to Dover Hospital. The hospital report says that he was admitted with burns and a gunshot wound to the face.

Mudie died the next day, aged 24. He is buried in Esher Cemetery, East Molesey, Surrey. Regrettably Mudie's loss was witnessed by BBC commentator Charles Gardner who was recording the scene from a vantage point on the cliffs outside Dover. He mistook Mudie's Hurricane for a German aircraft. His understandably breathless commentary included:

"There's one going down in flames! Somebody's hit a German and he’s coming down with a long streak - coming down completely out of control - a long streak of smoke. And now a man’s baled out by parachute! The pilot's baled out by parachute! He's a Junkers eighty-seven and he's going slap into the sea. And there he goes - SMASH! A terrific column of water and there was a Junkers eight-seven. Only one man got out by parachute, so presumably there was only a crew of one in it!"
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline John

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Re: Pilot Officer Michael Mudie
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 15:29:32 pm »
The above report, and others like it, are widely available on the internet, and they do a good job of explaining the circumstances of Pilot Officer Mudie's demise. But newspapers are a good way of finding out more about a person, and I found this little gem which relates to an incident he was involved in a few months before his death..


Surrey Advertiser - Saturday 06 April 1940

PISTOL FIRED AT DANCE.

R.A.F. OFFICER WOUNDS HIMSELF.

COURT SEQUEL TO AN ARGUMENT.


Kingston Borough magistrates on Thursday were told a remarkable story of how a young Royal Air Force officer fired an automatic pistol at the Coronation Hall (Kingston Baths) dance, while having an argument with other airmen regarding the buttons on his uniform, and wounding himself in the leg.

Pilot Officer Michael Robert Mudie (24), stated to be on leave at Pallion, Wolsey-road, East Molesey, his mother's address, was fined £1 for wantonly discharging a firearm to the danger or damage of others. A charge of having a firearm without a certificate was dismissed on payment of £1 14s. 9d. costs, and a charge of being drunk in charge of a loaded firearm was withdrawn.

P.C. W. Smith said at 10.50 p.m. on March 19th he was called to the Coronation Hall, where there was a dance in progress. There was a great deal of disorder in the hall, and Mudie was surrounded by a crowd of people. He was shouting, and an aircraftman handed witness an automatic pistol, which he alleged Mudie had fired twice before it was taken from him. At Kingston police station, Mudie was charged with having been drunk, but denied the charge. Later, he was seen to be in pain, and was examined by Dr. Riley, the divisional surgeon. Mudie was taken to hospital and a bullet was extracted from the calf of his right leg. Witness added that later he returned to the hall and found a hole three-quarters of an inch deep in the floor.

Dr. Riley, in evidence, said that Mudie was only in a minor state of intoxication, and on the advice of the Clerk (Mr. S. C. T. Littlewood), Mudie withdrew his plea of guilty on the drink charge, which was then dropped.

Mr. J. P. Williams, for the defence, stated that Mudie was home on leave, and went to the dance with a friend. He was in the bar at the hall when an altercation arose with some aircraftmen, who, noticing he was not wearing the regulation buttons on his uniform, thought he might be posing as an officer. With no intention of harming anybody, Mudie took the pistol from his pocket and foolishly fired directly into the floor. The pistol went off again accidentally, and he was wounded in the leg.

Mudie confirmed the story in the witness box, and said he bought the pistol in France. The argument with the other men was because he was wearing, as he had been doing in France, buttons of the French Air Force.

After the magistrates had announced their decision, they granted a request by Inspr. Main that the pistol should be confiscated.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline John

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Re: Pilot Officer Michael Mudie
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 10:16:57 am »
Information from file AIR 81/1119 at the National Archives.
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell

Offline John

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Re: Pilot Officer Michael Mudie
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2022, 20:27:26 pm »
"You know, if you don’t read history, you’re a bloody idiot." - James Clavell