Sticky Murphy Lover of Life: Second World War Clandestine Lysander and Intruder Mosquito pilot Wing Commander Alan Michael ‘Sticky’ Murphy DSO and Bar, DFC, Croix de Guerre. The remarkable story of one man who was an inspirational leader in the air but also on the ground. From very risky night operations to drop agents into enemy territory to leading a Mosquito Squadron taking the fight to the enemy.

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Those who knew Wing Commander Alan Michael ‘Sticky’ Murphy remember a man who was an inspiration both on and off duty. Indeed, it motivated James H. Coley, who served as a navigator in No. 23 Squadron, to write a book dedicated to his commanding officer’s memory and honour. In 1941 Sticky joined the ‘cloak and dagger’ 1419 (Special Duties) Flight, pioneering short take-off and landings dropping agents into occupied Europe. It was extremely hazardous and daring work. On one flight his Lysander was ambushed by Germans, with Sticky having to fly home seriously wounded, and his exploits on a mission to rescue a comrade, John Nesbitt-Dufort, would earn him the award of the Distinguished Service Order. Such feats made him a legend in the secret and clandestine circles in which he moved, a time Sticky recalled as ‘The greatest fun ever.’ In 1943 Sticky converted to Mosquitoes, and was posted to Malta and No. 23 Squadron.



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