Hugh Harvey Mooney

Biography of Hugh Harvey Mooney

Hugh Harvey Mooney
Hugh Harvey Mooney

Hugh Harvey Mooney attended the University of Glasgow in 1939. However, his studies were interrupted due to the advent of the Second World War.

Hugh was born on the 5th January 1913 in the Garscube Road area of Glasgow, the son of John Mooney and Isabella Harvey. He attended school at St. Joseph’s in the Garscube Road area before being awarded a scholarship to attend St. Aloysius in 1926. In 1938 he was chosen by the Corporation of Glasgow to be the French interpreter at the Empire Exhibition held at Bellahouston Park. Hugh enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1939 and studied subjects such as French and Latin, but left after his first year to fight in the war.

In September 1940 he volunteered for the Territorial Army. However, after the Luftwaffe raids on Glasgow in March 1941, he decided to enlist in the RAF as a pilot. He commenced his initial training in St. Andrews before moving on to do his elementary flying training in Cap-de-la- Madeleine, Quebec, and service flying training in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada in late 1941.

A change in priorities in the RAF meant that there was no longer a desperate need for trained pilots. Hugh retrained as a navigator at the elementary observer school in Ontario, and the navigation school in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in early 1942. On his return to the UK in September 1942, he was stationed at RAF Penrhos (No.9 Observers Advanced Flying Unit) in North Wales where he trained on Avro Anson planes to learn night and maritime navigation.

In November 1942 he moved back to Scotland to serve with the Coastal Command at RAF Forres and then at RAF St. Eval in Cornwall. In both locations they flew Whitley bombers on anti U-boat operations in the North Atlantic Channel and the Bay of Biscay. In March 1943 his crew was sent to RAF Winthorpe to convert to flying Avro Lancaster Bombers, before moving on to their final post at RAF Bottesford on April 30th, 1943 with the 467th Squadron of Bomber Command.

From 13th May to 28th June 1943, Hugh participated in ten bombing missions over the Ruhr, including attacks on Duisburg, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Essen, Wuppertal, Krefeld, Mulheim, Gelsenkirchen, and finally Cologne. While en route to Cologne, at 1.15am on June 29th 1943, the plane was attacked by a German night fighter over the Dutch town of Vlodrop on the Dutch/German border. The plane was badly damaged and the pilot gave the order to bail out. Two members of the crew managed to escape the plane, but Hugh and four of his fellow crewmen died in the resultant crash in the hamlet of Hatenboer next to the Dutch town of Roermond. The bodies of four crewman, Hugh Harvey Mooney, Jack Gordon Hole, Thomas Copeland and George Cayless, were all recovered from the crash site and buried in Jonkerbos Cemetery in Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Hugh’s remains were later re-interred at Arnhem. Bernard Dolby and Edward Pike both managed to parachute from the plane but were subsequently arrested and spent the remainder of the war in Stalag Luft 6 prisoner of war camp. The remains of the Australian pilot Robert Ingersoll Gates have never been recovered to this date.

Hugh Harvey Mooney received the 1939-1945 Star for his service.


Hugh Harvey Mooney
Born 5 January 1913, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 29 June 1943.
University Link: Student
GU Degree: Arts, 1939-40;
Father's Details: John Mooney
War Service: Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force
Grave / Memorial: Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Netherlands
Additional Information: Biographical information provided by the family.
Record last updated: 7th Mar 2019

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WWII Roll of Honour

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