A youthful looking Sergeant Hughes was the skipper of Stirling EH898 HA-G which failed to return from a operation against Gelsenkirchen on June 25/26th 1943. Twenty-year old Eric arrived on the squadron via No.1651 Con.Unit w.e.f 24th May 1943 with his crew. He completed one second pilot operation with P/O Cochrane on May 25th then commenced operations with his own crew on May 28th. He was on his fifth operation when shot down by Oblt Werner Husemann of Stab NJG1 at 01.17hrs. The Stirling crashed near Ziewent, Holland, there was one survivor. Eric is buried in the Lichtenvoorde General Cemetery, Holland. Note the Yank wings under his pilot brevet.
While under training at No.1651 CU Waterbeach Eric was involved in a incident involving Stirling BF388 on a training flight on May 2nd 1943. During the flight an exactor unit on the S/O engine failed. The defective engine was shut down and the crew headed back to Waterbeach. Perhaps due to Eric’s inexperience he misjudged his approach and made a heavy landing which resulted in the Stirling swinging violently resulting in the undercarriage breaking. The Stirling was beyond repair and became a ground trainer. Eric’s crew were all uninjured.