Ronald Hughes born circa 1923 was the son of Stanley and Lizzie Hughes (nee Ellis) who married on the 26th June 1920 at the Parish Church, Broughton,Wrexham, Denbighshire. Stanley, 23, was a Colliery Engine Driver, and lived at Brynissa Road, Brynteg, Broughton, his father, John HUGHES, was also a Colliery Engine Driver. Lizzie Ellis, 22, had lived at 41, Westmister Road, Moss, Broughton, and her father was Robert ELLIS Collier. They married ‘After Banns.’
I do not know here Ronald spent his childhood, but the 1939 Register sees his parents living in Shotton, Flintshire:-
Hughes Household (3 People)
27 Henrietta Street , Hawarden R.D., Flintshire, Wales
Stanley Hughes 16 Jul 1896 Male Fitter Labourer Steel Works Heavy Worker Married 249 1
Lizzie (Elizabeth) Hughes 08 Jun 1898 Female Housewife Married 249 2
Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.
There is a redacted record on the above, so whether that is Ronald, I don’t know, there may have been a sibling, but as Ronald was only age 20 when he died in 1943, it could have been Ronald. Any help would be appreciated.
So I don’t know when he enlisted but in any case he was a Sergeant (Air Bomber) by 1943, so he rose up the ranks, but again, as so many of these young lads were to died early in the war in the raids they made, it could be there were opportunities for rising in the ranks. However, on the fateful night of the 12th/13th May 1943, he was a Navigator, all this at age 20 years!
I do not know the Airfield they took off from, it was not on the Operations Record Book. On the night of 12/13th May 1943 Fourteen Aircraft (Wellington X) were detailed for Operations, Thirteen took off. The raid was Duisburg (Duisburg – City in Germany)
Duisburg is a city in western Germany, at the junction of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers. It’s known for its large harbor and the Innenhafen (Inner Harbour), a waterfront dining and nightlife district. The Museum Küppersmühle has a collection of modern German art, and the Lehmbruck Museum displays modern sculpture. The site of an old ironworks, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord is now a park with trails and a ropes course.
The Crew on the Wellington X Y-HE 702 Sgt. L Waller was the Pilot, Sgt. R Hughes was the Navigator, Sgt J.G. Wilson was the Air Bomber, F/O R.H.D. Cook was Wep/AG and Sgt T. Wharmby was the Rear Gunner. According to the Operation Record Book the Aircraft failed to return. Nothing was heard after take off. (No time of take off was recorded.)
http://www.rafcommands.com/database/serials/details.php?uniq=HE702 is another source.
The other Aircraft all took off around midnight and the last of the remaining Aircraft arrived home at 05.25 – 13th May 1943.
One Wellington which took off at 00.00 returned, – Task abandoned Skegness 0030 hours 9,000 feet. Bomb Jettisoned safe 5335 N 0155 E 0050 hours 10,000 feet but seen to explode. Gee and I.F.F. detonated reason unknown believed to be faulty wiring. Aircraft very sluggish and unable to obtain sufficient speed. Landed at 01.55.
I found this website which tell us a little of what happened :- https://losses.internationalbcc.co.uk/loss/111477/ International Bomber Command Centre. Ronald is remembered on this website.
LAST OPERATION INFORMATION
Start Date 12-05-1943
End Date 12-05-1943
Takeoff Station Ingham
Day/Night Raid Night
Reason for Loss : – Crashed near Nunspeet in Holland, one of 10 Wellingtons lost on the raid
There is a memorial to this crew (a mounted propeller) at Guelders, Doornspijk
FELLOW SERVICEMEN: –
Cook R H D (F/O)
Waldorf L (Sgt)
Wharmby T (Sgt)
Wilson J G (Sgt)
He is also remembered on this website:-
Ronald Hughes, Sergeant, Air Bomber 1450608. Died 13/05/1943, age 20. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 199 Sqdn. Buried at Harderwijk General Cemetery. Son of Stanley and Lizzie Hughes, of Shotton, Flintshire.
I hope this shines a little light on what happened to Ronald, and any help to tell his story will be gratefully received
Ronald was loved and missed as his family put his name forward for him to be remembered in perpetuity.
Also on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton War Memorial.