Dudley MARROWS DSO, DFC

MARROWS, Dudley

Service Number: 400656
Enlisted: 12 October 1940
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 40 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 8 December 1917
Home Town: Mildura, Mildura Shire, Victoria
Schooling: Bendigo High School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Orchardist
Died: Natural Causes, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, 11 March 2019, aged 101 years
Cemetery: Gol Gol Cemetery, New South Wales, Australia
Buried next to his wife, Silvia Lillian Marrows
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

12 Oct 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 400656, No. 40 Squadron (RAAF)
30 Jul 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 400656, No. 461 Squadron (RAAF)
1 Oct 1943: Honoured Distinguished Flying Cross
15 Oct 1943: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
17 Apr 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, SN 400656, No. 40 Squadron (RAAF)
13 Jul 2015: Involvement
Date unknown: Involvement Flight Lieutenant, SN 400656, No. 40 Squadron (RAAF)

Distinguished Services Order Citation

His DSO Citation reads:
As pilot and air gunners respectively, Flight Lieutenant MARROWS and Sergeants Bamber and Pearce have undertaken many sorties and have displayed great skill and devotion to duty throughout.
On a recent occasion while flying over enemy waters, their aircraft was intercepted by six Junkers 88. In the ensuing engagement, Flight Lieutenant MARROWS fought with great skill and determination. Well supported by his gunners, he frustrated the attackers for more than an hour until, with three engines shot away and all but one gun silent, he was forced to bring the aircraft down onto the water.
Although a very heavy sea was running, the crew succeeded in getting aboard the one remaining dingy. During the action Sergeant Bamber had been badly wounded but whilst in the dinghy, set a fine example of cheerfulness and resolution until a rescue was subsequently effected.
Throughout this spirited action Flight Lieutenant MARROWS displayed inspiring leadership, great courage and determination, while Sergeant Pearce also fought with rare zest and subsequently displayed coolness and resources when the aircraft had to be abandoned

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Distinguished Flying Cross Citation


His DFC Citation reads:
Flight Lieutenant MARROWS as a captain of Sunderland aircraft has a fine record of operational flying, distinguished by his devotion to duty, disregard for his personal safety and fine fighting spirit.
In July 1943 he made a determined attack on three surface U-boats. He sank one enemy submarine after attacking from a height of 50 feet in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire and pressed home his second run over the remaining two U-boats to obtain photographic evidence.

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Dudley’s U-boat Battle Honours

AS a pilot, Dudley Marrows took part in an epic sea battle with German U-boats in World War II, and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross.

He trained as an RAAF pilot and flew his 461 Squadron Sunderland on 14-hour patrols over the Atlantic Ocean in search of enemy submarines.

On July 30, 1943, a group of three U-boats was spotted by an RAF Liberator in the Bay of Biscay.
The pilot called in aircraft including Dudley Marrows’ Sunderland, a Catalina, two Halifax bombers and a US Navy Liberator.

A Luftwaffe Junkers Ju88C twin-engined fighter turned up and harried Dudley’s Sunderland , forcing him to drop his loaded depth charges and get away, along with the very slow Catalina. After the Junkers left, the remaining planes engaged with the submarines, which together had enough firepower to hold them off.

Amid all the action, Dudley, having reloaded his depth charge racks, returned, skimming low at an angle that meant the U-boats could not get a clear shot. His depth charges sank one of them.

U-boats were frequently lost with all crew but seeing men in the water, Dudley returned and – ignoring RAF policy – dropped a liferaft.

Fifteen of the crew were eventually picked up by the Royal Navy. Of the two other submarines, one was sunk with total loss of life and the other was scuttled and 64 survivors picked up.

On his way home, Dudley took on another U-boat but was shot up so badly that, low on fuel, he had to turn for home. His Sunderland was a write-off .

Commander Wolf Stiebler was among those saved after Dudley’s plane destroyed his U-boat . The men became good friends after the war.

Two months after the Uboat sinking, Dudley and his crew of 11 had to take to a liferaft themselves, forced to ditch after a running battle with six Ju88C planes. A picture of Dudley’s crew deploying liferafts on the wing was taken by a Junkers crewman and recovered as a memento when his plane was, in turn, shot down during a raid over Britain.

After the war, Dudley first moved to San Francisco with his newlywed wife, Silvia (nee Lindner), to manage the offices of the fledgling Qantas but then decided he wanted to take up a soldier settlers block near Mildura on the River Murray.

He would emerge as one of Australia’s biggest citrus growers after introducing drip irrigation to the district. Silvia died in 2010. Dudley is survived by children Marilyn and Mark and three grandchildren.

Published in the Tributes Section of Adelaide Advertiser - Saturday, 23 March 2019

Copyright © 2019 News Pty Limited


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