18.10.1943 No. 681 Squadron Mosquito PR.IV LR441 Fl/Lt. Lucien L.G. Javaux
Operation: Ferry flight
Date: 18th October 1943 (Monday)
Unit: No. 681 Squadron
Type: Mosquito PR.IV
Base: RAF Allahabad, India.
Location: RAF Ranchi, India
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Lucien Leon Gustav Javaux 84284 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper 1217634 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On a ferry flight from Allahabad to Dumdum, India when during very bad weather in torrential rain it was decided to land at RAF Ranchi even though the runway could only be lit by headlights from various vehicle.
During the fourth attempt to land the aircraft hit a river bank short of the runway, killing both crew members.
Above left: Fl/Lt. Lucien Leon Gustav Javaux (courtesy Johny Recour) Right: Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper (courtesy Paul Harper)
Both crew originally buried at Ranchi War Cemetery, India. The body of Fl/Lt. Javaux was reinterred at Fleuris, Belgium in October 1961.
Fl/Lt. Lucien Leon Gustav Javaux. The Maidenhead Register. Repatriated to Belgium. Buried at Fleuris, Belgium. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these? Further information: Born 16th August 1911 in Namur, Belgium. Joined Belgian Air Force in August 1934. Escaped to England after the collapse of France and commissioned in the RAF on 13th August 1940. First posted to 235 Squadron before beckming an instructor with various units. Finally joining 681 Squadron on Mosquitoes.
Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper. Ranchi War Cemetery. Grave 2.C.9. Son of Arthur and Alice Harper, of Erdington, Birmingham, England. The eldest son of a Midlands iron foundry worker, Clifford was interested in mathematics, which he studied at evening school. He was much mourned by his parents, two sisters and younger brother Philip, whose own interest and career in science was sparked by reading Clifford's books.
Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to the following for further information, John Recour of Belgium, Paul Harper who contacted us in January 2017, RAF Commands Forum, Battle of Britain Historical Society, Aircrew Remembered own archives.