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Monday, 12 November 2012

Loughridge, Joseph Marshall

Sergeant Joseph Marshall Loughridge
was probably born around 1919 / 1921.

He was the son of Thomas Loughridge and Ellen Loughridge, of Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus. 
Loughridge probably joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1938.  He served in Head Office.

Belfast Banking Company, 2 Waring Street, Belfast
Having been promoted to Sergeant (Pilot) with Service Number 1101874, he was serving with 87 Sqn Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve when he was killed on 2nd September 1941. 

The WW2 Forum website advises the following:

" ..... Killed at 23:30 hrs when Hurricane IIC Z3576 crashed at Kingsdown QL site in Wiltshire.

The aircraft was tasked with searchlight co-operation and was orbiting the dummy airfield beacon when he had to turn suddenly to avoid collission with another Hurricane . The turn became a spin and he spun in from 500 feet.

Ross ..... "

Another website describes:
" ..... Special equipment known as 'boiler-fires' produced spectacular explosive effects by allowing water to pour into large tanks of burning creosote.  The 'QL' sites were provided with apparatus to give the impression from the air of the restricted lighting in the target area they were supposed to represent.  Widely spaced rows of white lamps shining on to large circles of sand gave the impression of the lighting typically found in railway marshalling yards, while the glow of a locomotive firebox was created by a hooded red lamp shining down on to a bed of sand.  The electricity required for these illusions was provided by a pair of generators installed in a splinter-proof bunker built at least 400 yards away from the main site.  The Norbin Barton bunker was built of concrete reinforced with steel arches similar to those used underground in the nearby ammunition depot.  Although abandoned in 1944, it was not demolished until the late 1960s and its debris can still be seen beside the South Wraxall road.  An unavoidable hazard associated with all 'QL' sites protecting airfields was that friendly aircraft might mistake the dummy flarepath with the real thing, which would of course be blacked out, and attempt to land on it.  This appears to be what happened on the night of 2 September, 1941, when Hurricane Z3576 of No.87 Squadron, based at [RAF] Charmy Down airfield, crashed on the Norbin Barton decoy.  The situation was made worse by the fact that the site, together with Kingsdown Common and the large fields nearby, had earlier been obstructed by rows of huge stone blocks to prevent enemy gliders landing in the event of the anticipated invasion. ..... "

Loughridge is buried in Carrickfergus(Victoria) Cemetery, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. 

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