30.10.1939 No 139 Squadron Blenheim IV N6234 XD-E P/O. McCracken
Date: 30th October 1939 (Monday)
Unit: No. 139 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire
Location: Groß Berßen, Germany
Pilot: P/O. William George McCracken 36157 RAF Age 21. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Stanley Robert Mitchell 580376 RAF Age 24. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC1. Robert Boaler Smith 526371 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 1026 hrs from Wyton in Cambridgeshire on a reconnaissance flight. Believed to be shot down by German fighters. A Blenheim was claimed by Leutnant Heinz Lange 1/JG21 - Groß-Berßen/Emsland at 1250 (local). The aircraft crashed at Groß-Berßen 10km North of Haselünne. (OKL Fighter Claims Reich & Western Front 1939-40).
F/O. McCracken graduated as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force in June, 1938, enlisted in the Royal Air Force on a short-service commission a month later. Educated in Melbourne first at Caulfield Technical School and later at Melbourne High School.
P/O. William George McCracken. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Special Memorial No.9 ('Believed to be buried in this cemetery') Son of William Gracen McCracken and Lillian McCracken, of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Our Dearly Loved Son Gratitude Shall Not Die In Our Hearts".
Sgt. Stanley Robert Mitchell. Rheinberg War Cemetery Joint grave 17.B.10. Son of Robert and Louisa Alice Mitchell. Grave inscription reads: "Went The Day Well? I Died And Never Knew: But Well Or Ill, England, I Died For You".
AC1 Robert Boaler Smith. Rheinberg War Cemetery Grave 17.B.9. Son of George Allcroft Smith and Jessie Brown Smith, of Wellow, Nottinghamshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Unseen, Unheard, But Always Near. Loved, Remembered And Ever Dear".
Researched by Geoff Swallow for Aircrew Remembered. With thanks to the following: Australian National Archives, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol 1', the CWGC and Des Philipet for grave photographs. Thanks to John Jones for the German Fighter claim information.