Sergeant Hugh Alphonsus Kelly (971259) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was the son of Patrick Kelly and Mary Kelly of William Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim.
Sergeant Kelly died on 29th August 1941 aged 30 years old. He was a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner on Vickers Wellington R1213 with RAF 103 Squadron. The Mark Ic plane took off from RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire at 2030hrs bound for a raid on Mannheim, Germany. The weather was so bad on the night of the raid that the Luftwaffe put up no night fighters to challenge to Wellingtons.
Lightning over Netherlands
The RAF base heard nothing from the crew after take-off and the Wellington never returned to the airfield. Lightning struck Wellington R1213 over Vlissingen, Zeeland, Netherlands. The resulting crash killed 4 members of the crew leaving a further 2 men prisoners of war in the Netherlands.
Remembering the crew of Wellington R1213
|Last Name||First Name(s)||Rank||Role||Information|
|Oldfield||William R||Pilot Officer||Pilot||RAFVR 86693. POW No. 3760 at Stalag Luft Sagan and Belaria.|
|Williams||Gregory Percival||Sergeant||2nd Pilot||RAAF 402428. Killed aged 23 years old.|
|Figg||Arthur Harry||Sergeant||Observer||RCAF R/60716. Killed aged 21 years old.|
|Grassom||John||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||RAFVR 974494. Killed aged 24 years old.|
|Kelly||Hugh Alphonsus||Sergeant||Wireless Operator / Air Gunner||RAFVR 971259. Killed aged 30 years old.|
|Dunn||Harry||Sergeant||Rear Gunner||RAFVR 1378581. POW No. 39395 at Stalag Luft Heydekrug.|
The Wireless Operator / Air Gunner from Ballymena, Co. Antrim had visited home 3 weeks before his death. On Tuesday 2nd September 1941, his mother Mary Kelly received a letter sent shortly before Hugh’s final mission. He was due to visit Northern Ireland again on leave on 11th September 1941.
Hugh Alphonsus Kelly’s grave is in Row B, Grave 10 of Flushing (Vlisingen) North Cemetery, Netherlands. His headstone bears the inscription:
RIP. On his sweet soul, sweet Jesus, have mercy.