Flight Officer Thomas Morgan, USAAF T-190798
Never stir up a hornet's nest
28th February 1920 – 4th October 1943
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Thomas Hurley Morgan was born in St Helens, Oregon on 28th February, 1920. His father died when Tommy was just two years old, so his mother Susan “Tudie” Hurley Morgan returned home to Lillooet, British Columbia.
At age twenty one Tommy was instructed to report to the RCAF Training School, Brandon, Manitoba on the 15th April, 1941. After only sixty hours training he, with other recruits, was flying 600h.p. fighter-type planes. He then graduated from 10 Flight Training School, Dauphin, Manitoba, receiving his wings two weeks ahead of schedule.
Tommy was a Sergeant when he joined, for reasons unknown, the USAAF and eventually came to fly Lancaster's with 100 Squadron, the senior British Night Bombing Squadron. At the end of May /early June1943 Tommy was promoted to Flying Officer.
Around the time of his 27th mission over Germany he received the DFC and his Flight Engineer, Sgt Jim Giles, the DFM for an exploit over Germany, the details of which are not known at this time.
On the 4th October, 1943 Tommy volunteered to flight test ED583 and took off, a pilot of Morgan’s experience (Total 745 hours including 46 hours day and 175 hours 1205. The weather was cloudy but the conditions were considered satisfactory for a flight on Lancaster's). ED583 suffered severe structural failure and the resulting crash was reported at 1250 hrs by the ROC.
Lancaster ED 583
The final moments of the aircraft was a steep dive, almost vertical, with no tail, only the two inner engines and the outer portions of both wings missing. The Lancaster crashed in the middle of North Thoresby with the loss of all crew but, miraculously, no loss of civilian life.
Morgan’s and Giles’ medals were awarded posthumously!
There is a double irony. Morgan had completed his Operational Tour and written to his girlfriend, only days before his death, to say that he had finished flying. The regular crew of ED583 all survived the war.
Tommy Morgan is buried in
© Dave Barnet 2007