Sergeant Robert Getgood McCrory (1024870) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. Known as Bob, he was the son of Robert McCrory and Margaret Elizabeth McCrory of Bridge Street, Banbridge, Co. Down.
In civilian life, Bob studied at Banbridge Public Elementary School and Banbridge Academy where he was Head Boy. He gained employment as a teacher and was principal of St. John’s School, Kilwarlin, Hillsborough, Co. Down before joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in March 1941. He then trained in Canada before joining R.A.F. 115 Squadron as an observer at R.A.F. Marham, Norfolk, England. This squadron was one of the first to trial the “Gee” navigational aid and to make use of flares.
Sergeant McCrory died on 29th July 1942 aged 23 years old while serving in R.A.F. 115 Squadron. He was a wireless operator and air gunner on Vickers Wellington III Z1605 KO-R when it took off from R.A.F. Marham at 2308hrs on 28th July 1942 for a raid on Hamburg, Germany. Poor weather over northern England prevented the planned larger force from No. 3 Group partaking in the raid. A total of 256 bombers took off but in worsening weather, only 63 arrived over the target. The Royal Air Force sustained a loss of 15.2% of dispatched planes on the raid. McCrory’s Wellington was among them. Records suggest the night fighter Messerschmitt Bf 110E of Oberleutnant Köberich and Unteroffizier Heidenreich of Stab II./NJG 3, based at Schleswig shot the R.A.F. bomber down.
Sergeant McCrory’s grave is in Section 1, Row A, Grave 12 of Kiel War Cemetery, Schleswig-Holstein Germany. As of 2023. His name is on the Gilford War Memorial, Gilford, Co. Down and the Queen’s University War Memorial, Belfast as well as on congregational plaques at All Saints Church of Ireland, Tullylish, Co. Down and Holy Trinity Parish Church, Seapatrick, Co. Down. His headstone bears the inscription:
Faithful unto death.