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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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139 Squadron BADGE
30.10.1939 No 139 Squadron Blenheim IV N6234 XD-E P/O. McCracken

Operation: Reconnaissance

Date: 30th October 1939 (Monday)

Unit: No. 139 Squadron

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: N6234

Code: XD-E

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: A/C Ist class Robert Boaler Smith 526371 RAF Age 21. Killed


Took off at 10.26 hrs from Wyton in Cambridgeshire on a reconnaissance flight. Crashed at Gross Berssen 10 km North of Haselunne - reasons unknown, but probably by flak.


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.

Burial details:

P/O. William George McCracken. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Spec Memorial No.9 Son of William Gracen McCracken and Lillian McCracken, of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

Sgt. Stanley Robert Mitchell. Rheinberg War Cemetery Joint grave 17.B.10. Son of Robert and Louisa Alice Mitchell.

A/C Ist class Robert Boaler Smith. Rheinberg War Cemetery Grave 17.B.9. Son of George Allcroft Smith and Jessie Brown Smith, of Wellow, Nottinghamshire, England.

Researched by  Geoff Swallow for Aircrew Remembered. With thanks to the following: Australian National Archives, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol 1', the CWGC 

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 20 March 2015, 11:07

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