WW2 'Special Duties' D.F.C., D.F.M. Medal Group of Eight - Flt. Lt. A.A. Morley, 161 and 357 Special Duties Squadrons, Royal Air Force
- Product Code: MM-4126
- Regiment: Royal Air Force
- Era: WW2 Availability:1
An Interesting 'Special Duties' D.F.C., D.F.M., Groups of Eight to Flight Lieutenant Alfred Arthur Morley, Royal Air Force.
Distinguished Flying Cross (Dated 1946) engraved to F/Lt. A.A. Morley, 148804
George VI Distinguished Flying Medal named to 902708 Sgt. A.A. Morley. R.A.F.
1939-45 Star unnamed as issued
Air Crew Europe Star (Clasp - France and Germany) unnamed as issued
Burma Star unnamed as issued
WW2 Defence Medal unnamed as issued
1939-45 War Medal unnamed as issued
General Service Medal (Clasp - S.E. Asia 1945-46) named to Flt. Lt. A.A. Morley. R.A.F.
D.F.M.: London Gazette - 14/09/1943
902708 Sergeant Alfred Arthur Morley No. 161 Squadron.
The Recommendation, dated 19/07/1943 states:
'Sergeant Morley has carried out 21 operational sorties as Flight Engineer. He has at all times displayed exceptional keenness and efficiency and has set a fine example to other N.C.O. aircrew in the squadron.'
D.F.C.: London Gazette - 05/03/1946
148804 Flight Lieutenant Alfred Arthur Morley D.F.M. R.A.F.V.R. No. 357 Squadron.
The Recommendation, dated 11/09/1945 states:
'F/Lt Morley has carried out a very large number of Operational hours and has completed 80 Sorties. He is on his third tour of Operations having carried out two tours in the U.K. with Bomber Command, before volunteering for operations in this theatre. He has carried out 24 S.D. Sorties with this Squadron during the past six months, and as Flight Engineer Leader, has been responsible for the training of new crews in long range flying. F/Lt Morley has personally carried out three Sorties to Malaya of between 18 and 21 hours' duration, and many other Sorties to Burma, French Indo-China, and Siam. He has shown great keenness and leadership at all times and has been largely responsible for the great success the Squadron has achieved on long range Operations.'
Alfred Arthur Morley was motor mechanic before the war and joined the RAF within 48 hours of war being declared. His first 18 months service were spent on the King’s Flight until it was disbanded for the duration of the war. He was then transferred to 161 Special Duties Squadron as an Air Engineer. 161 sqn was based at RAF Tempsford and operated in Halifaxes, in addition to Lysanders and converted Hudsons. It was charged with 'taking by night, saboteurs to lead, guide, and maintain communications with the underground movement; in supplying the Maquis with arms, ammunition, radios, pigeons, and food; in bringing to this country from the continent those people of either political importance or important to the war effort.'
The crews of the Special Duties Squadrons were hand picked for the job. They flew the weeks either side of the full moon and had to find a field in enemy held territory and spot the markers laid out by the resistance before dropping agents or supplies.
For his own part, Morley flew two tours of special operations with 161 Squadron, not a few of them as Air Engineer to Sqn Leader “Bob” Hodges (later Air Chief Marshal Hodges), the following coded S.O.E. circuits being among their allotted tasks:
'Marigold' and 'Lime 12', France, 14-15 April 1943: '2 Agents and 2 Packages were dropped successfully from a height of 800 feet at 0128 hours … proceeded on to 'Lime 12' which was reached at 0141 hours and identified by river and a wood close by … Reception was immediately received and 5 Containers were dropped'.
'Fresia' and 'Circle', France, 13-14 May 1943: 'Ran into convoy off coast of France, tail plane shot up badly and forced to return.'
Fresia' and 'Circle', France, 18-19 May 1943: 'Arrived over target at 0154 hours - this was identified by railway, bends in river and other ground details and here 1 package was dropped; proceeded to second target and half way between pin point and Meislains dropped 2 Agents - time was 0246 hours'.
'Gags', 'Prop' and 'Manningtree', France, 15-16 July 1943: 'Arrived over vicinity of target at 0105 hours - 2 Agents were dropped as briefed at clearing north side of little wood - Proceeded on to 'Gags' where reception was noted at 0130 hours and here 1 Container and 1 Package were released. The remaining target was reached at 0136 hours and 2 Agents with 1 package were released north of road running East from Sucy - seemed rather an unsuitable area owing to surrounding high cliff'.
Awarded the D.F.M., Morley was commissioned and remained employed on special duties.
In early 1945, Morley was posted to India, where he joined 357 Squadron, another special duties' squadron operating in the Far East and doing similar work to 161 Sqn but over longer distances, some flights to Malaya lasting up to 21 hours. He was again under the command of his old pilot from 161 Sqn, 'Bob' Hodges. He subsequently completed a tour in the unit's Liberators and was awarded a DFC.
A typical outing was that flown to 'Cox's Bazaar' in March 1945:
'A/C map-read onto area at 0005 hours & reception was seen at 0012 hours, this consisted of a 'T' of lights & letter 'R' being flashed. 2 agents, 3 containers & 6 packages were dropped from 700 feet in 2 runs at 0020 hours & all chutes were observed to open & to fall in the area. Captain commented D.Z. is small & surrounding trees make observation difficult. 12 packets of nickels dropped on Alor Gajah at 0115 hours from 4000 feet. In position 1150N 6505E 4 destroyers sighted on course 060 degrees. A/C was challenged & replied. Weather fair with storms W. of Penang.'
Another operation flown with Hodges took place in May:
'Carpenter 11 - Successful. A/C was over D.Z. at 2212 hours where correct reception of 'T' of fires & flashing 'K' was seen. 4 agents, 1 container and 2 packages were dropped in 2 runs from 700 feet & all fell on area. George went U/S soon after take-off from Akyab and at intervals during flight this was followed by rear turret, radio compass and loran, all going U/S. A/C S/C base 2222 hours.'
Morley was posted to Headquarters Base, Colombo on 1 August 1945, from there he served in South East Asia qualifying for the GSM S. E. Asia 1945-46. On his return to the UK he was posted back to the King’s Flight and accompanied the Royal Family on their tour of South Africa in 1947.
The group comes with his original flying log book, copies of press cuttings for the award of his DFC and DFM, copied research from Sqn records expanding on operations recorded in his flying log book, a copy crew photograph and a copy photograph of 161 Sqn, both including the recipient.
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