A Hurstville pilot

Sqn-Ldr C J E Merryfull. AWM collection

     Charles Joseph Merryfull, known as Joe, was the son of Edward Merryfull, a Hurstville veterinarian. Joe attended Hurstville Public School, then the Technical High School and Sydney University, where he studied pathology.  The outbreak of WWII interrupted his studies, and he joined the RAAF.  He served with 199 Squadron RAF in England and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader.  He invented an experimental ‘window’ dispenser, which dropped the metal-foil strips known as window, designed to confuse German radar operators.  One of the planes he flew was a Short Stirling bomber, named B for BeerB for Beer accomplished 76 sorties, and for every successful sortie, a mug of beer was painted on the side of the plane.  Joe died on 8 July 1945 when a Mosquito he had taken up on a research flight crashed over Norfolk, England.  He was 21.  For his successful invention of the window-dispenser he was awarded a posthumous MBE.

     His father arranged for a drinking fountain for dogs to be installed outside his surgery in Forest Road in Joe’s memory.  A knitted lucky mascot, known as Myrtle the Turtle, which was attached to the instrument panel of B for Beer, is in the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

Myrtle the Turtle mascot. AWM collection

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.