The Tempsford Special Duties Squadrons




Alfred Ellis Prior

Flight Lt Prior was born 1st Nov 1915 at the Barley Sheaf Inn Liskeard Cornwall where his parents were licensees.
He was the third son of Alfred Prior of St Germans, Cornwall and Florrie (nee Ellis) of Monkleigh, North Devon. His two older brothers were twins who both served in the RAF having joined together in their teens.

Fl/Lt Prior volunteered for the RAF at the outbreak of World War 2 and was assigned to 51 Bomber Squadron. He became Flight Sergeant and awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in 1941.

On the mission during which he was killed he was the pilot of Halifax bomber DG245W which took off from Tempsford at 20.00 hrs on Sunday 14 March 1943 as part of the on going Operation Iridium carrying agents to Moravia.

The task was to organize resistance, conduct intelligence and relay information by radio in London. For this activity, the group was equipped with a station code-name - Anna.

On 14 March 1943 the aircraft Handley Page Halifax Mk V DG245, registration MA - W, from 161 Squadron RAF was shot down by German anti-aircraft defences when returning from a failed landing. The crew consisted of:

F/Lt Alfred Ellis Prior DFM, RAFVR
Sgt Francis Douglas Bell RAFVR
Sgt John Henry Kempton RAFVR
F/O Alfred John Kingham RAFVR
P/O George McWilliam RAFVR
Sgt James Felix Mowles RAF
F/O Richard Taylor Winter DFC & Bar RCAF

The members of the Iridium team were: Miroslav Spot, Miroslav Kricenský, Vladimir Soukup, and Bohumír Kobylka.

This was the sixth attempt to insert the Iridium team.

The crew were first buried in the Munich Cemetery and later moved to the Durnbach War Cemetery. The agents were buried in a nearby forest.

Flight Lt Prior married in the Coventry area in 1940. He left a widow and unborn daughter.



Monday, June 1, 2020 13:06