Pilot Officer (Pilot) Michael Robert Mudie
Michael Robert Mudie was born 26th February, 1916, in Singapore. His Father, Norman David Mudie, was born in Dundee and married Katherine Eleanor Pugh, from Chester, in 1911. The couple had four sons, Norman, Richard, Michael and Arthur and were living in Chertsey in 1938. The two youngest boys would both sadly lose their lives serving in the RAF during WW2.
Michael Mudie studied at King’s College and joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1939. On completion of his training he joined the 11 Group Pool in November of that year.
Following his conversion to Hurricanes, he became part of 2 Ferry Pilot Pool in December. 615 Squadron had left RAF Croydon for France on 15 November 1939, RAF Kenley was under reconstruction at this time, where Mudie subsequently joined them. The Squadron returned to RAF Kenley on 20 May 1940 where they would remain until the end of August.
During the early stages of the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe set out to draw Fighter command into battle by attacking British convoys in the English Channel; they described this phase as “Kanalkampf”. It was on 14 July that Pilot officer Mudie was shot down by Bf109s whilst defending a convoy off Dover. At the time he was flying Hurricane I L1584. Although badly wounded, he managed to bale out and was rescued by the Royal Navy and admitted to Dover Hospital. Unfortunately he died of his wounds the following day.
On 14 July, BBC commentator, Charles Gardner was reporting on the air combat from a vantage point on the cliffs outside Dover. He witnessed Mudie’s crash but mistakenly reported that it was a German aircraft.
“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.”
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.