On 9 May 1943, a 1409 Squadron Met Flight crew were shot down over Holland. This was a rare occurrence as normally Mosquitos flew too high and too fast to be intercepted.
Both crewmembers, Peter Hall and William Woodruff, survived by using their parachutes. Woodruff was captured more or less immediately. Peter Hall, who was briefly hidden by the Dutch, gave himself up rather than bring vengeance down upon the local population.
On the day that they went missing,1409 Met Flight’s Operation Records Book provided a tiny character sketch of both men, ‘Baldy’ and ‘Bill’. The way the entry is written is an insight into the very different character of Met Flight to the other Pathfinder squadrons.
Last Saturday, 21 May 2022, Stichting Herdenkingspalen Hollands Kroon (SHHK), a Dutch association which commemorates the crew members of Allied aircraft that crashed during the Second World War in the Hollands Kroon district, unveiled their two latest memorial poles; the one shown here is for the Hall-Woodruff crash. Memorial poles are the means by which SHHK remembers such crews; the poles are financed by donations and crowd-funding, and the SHHK is most grateful for such public support.
About 50 people came to the unveiling ceremony. Amongst them, representing the RAF, was Flying Officer Brad Duesbury. The photographs of the ceremony shown here are by Martin Blaauw.
The SHHK area is about 65 km north of Amsterdam and south-east of Den Helder harbour. See the SHHK website www.shhk.nl for more information on the SHHK’s activities. For their full account of the Hall-Woodruff shooting-down, see below,