Hi all, as you might now I'm researching people from Portsmouth who were killed during the Second World War. One of them was Flight Lieutenant John Coghlan. After claiming six kills flying Hurricanes with 56 Squadron (and earning the nickname 'Nine-Gun' for firing his pistol at an enemy aircraft when his Brownings had run out of ammo), he left suddenly on 3 August 1940 - his log book stops abruptly, with no information as to where he went. 56 Squadron's Operational Record Book records that he was posted to the Parachute Practice Unit at Ringway, Manchester. Apparently Ringway was also a centre for training special agents. Of course later in the war it played an important part in the formation of Airborne Forces. It seems that Coghlan died while piloting a Lysander over Northern France on the night of 17 August 1940. Its unclear whether he was shot down, crashed in the channel, or if he was captured and executed. He is buried in Boulogne (Eastern) Cemetery. One of Coghlan's former ground crew at 56 Squadron saw him before he took off on his last flight - apparently he stopped off at North Weald on his way to France. He had a not very talkative passenger with him, and he said nothing at all about what he was doing. I've tried to find some more information about his last fight, but so far I've drawn a blank. The problem I think is that 1940 was very early in the war for special operations - SOE was only formed on 22 July 1940, so it seems that operations like the kind Coghlan was flying were very embryonic at the time. I've trawled through every book I can find about special operations, SOE etc with no joy. I've had a look in the National Archives catalogue to see if I can find any documents that might shed some light, but drawn a blank. Does anybody have any ideas? I would really like to be able to find out what happened to Coghlan.