SGW to F/O H.M. Oddie RAF, KIA 25-26/06/43

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Reference WMO265151

Address:

Holt Trinity Church

Main Street

Sibford Gower

Banbury

OX15 5RN

England

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Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Stained glass window
Conflicts:
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: SGW in village church remembers F/O H.M. Oddie KIA 25-26/06/43 He was Pilot of 78 Sqn Halifax JB928 EY-S, that had departed Breighton for Ops Gelsenkirchen Whilst over Holland, the aircraft was intercepted at 5500M 1.5 km S of Bergen by a Luftwaffe Night-Fighter, captained by Maj Rolf Leuchs (XII/NJG1) at 0051 Despite violent evasive manoeuvres and change of direction, the Halifax was severely damaged. During the attack F/O Oddie was injured in the head and face, yet despite his own injuries his first thoughts were for his six crew, some of whom were also injured. He turned the Halifax aircraft around and flew back inland in order to ensure that his crew would bail out over land not the sea and drown. By remaining at the controls of the stricken aircraft, F/O Oddie gave his crew the opportunity to successfully bail out, which all six did - albeit into captivity. The Wirless Operator was later repatriated in 1945 due to his injuries. F/O Oddie was still at the controls of the Halifax when it crashed onto the Bergenseweg between Alkmaar and Bergen (Noord Holland) He died very shortly afterwards and was later buried in Bergen War Cemetery, the Netherlands. F/O Oddie and his crew were only on their second Op although he had previously done one more trip as a “Second Dickie”. Hugh Oddie was the Grandson of the Headmaster of Sibford School and his family lived in the village. Following his death, his mother not only designed the SGW but also a processional cross which is used at every church service. He is also remembered on the War Memorial in the churchyard at Sibford Gower.
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