Name: Hugh Bowen- Morris
Joined 92: Sept 1940
Shot down: 23 June 1941
Died: 9 February 1991
Hugh Bowen-Morris was born in Dorset and brought up in Bath then Coventry. He joined the RAF in 1939 and arrived on 92 squadron at the height of the Battle of Britain in September 1940.
His first encounter with the enemy came on the 27th when, flying as Red 3 he destroyed a JU 88 with Red 2, Tony Bartley. They saw it crash into a field near Sheerness in Kent.
Hugh’s next kill was in May 1941 when he shot down a Bf 109 and another on 16th June when he destroyed an attacking Bf 109.
On 23rd June the squadron were tasked to protect a convoy in the English Channel. The convoy was attacked by enemy bombers, whilst Hugh and the others were trying to stop the bombers sinking the convoy they were attacked by the bomber’s fighter escort. During the melee a 20mm cannon shell penetrated Hugh’s cockpit and exploded, initial pain in his right arm turned to numbness. With his right arm refusing to move, landing was not going to be easy, however he survived a wheels up landing with no further damage. As he attempted to climb out of his cockpit he noticed that his arm was only attached to him by a small piece of flesh. he managed to climb out, losing consciousness as he did so. Hugh woke up to find himself in the Luftwaffe Hospital in St. Omer his shattered right arm having been amputated. Three months had elapsed and all Hugh’s family had been told was that he was “missing”. Then a letter addressed in unfamiliar handwriting arrived. Hugh had persuaded a friendly nurse to write a letter for him. The family breathed a huge sigh of relief that he was alive.
The first exchange of prisoners organised by the Red Cross in October 1943 saw Hugh repatriated through Sweden. He was finally discharged on 9th June 1944 retaining the rank of Warrant officer.
Hugh returned to his pre war job as an accountant gaining more experience and passing more exams until he rose to the position of Financial Director. Through his work he met Pauline in London during the spring of 1948 and they married on 10th November 1950.
His job took him to New York for a spell before he joined the board of directors of John Brown Shipbuilders for twelve years.
Hugh retired to Gloucestershire but the onset of heart disease eventually required by-pass surgery, which was successful, however his heart problems continued and were the cause of Hugh’s death on 9th February 1991.
This biography has been compiled from Michael Robinson’e excellent book about 92 Squadron 1939-40.
It goes into much greater detail about the lives of every pilot who served on 92 squadron during that period.
‘Best of the Few’ with a foreword by Vera Lynn was published in 2001. ISBN 0 9540674 0 1