09.02.1941 No. 42 Squadron Beaufort I L9832 AW-T Sq/Ldr. A.W.D. Millar
Operation: Special Striking Force
Date: 09th February 1941 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 42 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Beaufort I
Base: RAF Wick, Scotland
Location: North Sea 16 miles East of Wick
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. A.W.D. Millar Survived
Obs: Sgt. Sidney Crocombe 744957 RAFVR Age 25. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Arthur Griffin 620429 RAF Age 20. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Cyril Bourne 971466 RAFVR Age 24. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Wick at 12.25 hrs on an anti-shipping patrol. During the flight the port engine stopped due to fuel starvation resulting that height could not be maintained, the pilot was forced to ditch the aircraft about 20 miles from the base.
The survival dingy was blown away on landing and the pilot dived in to reach it - this he did and despite valiant efforts to paddle back to the aircraft and shouting for the remaining crew to jump in they failed to leave the aircraft.
Above: 42 Squadron Beaufort I
At 15:30 hrs the coastguard reported a British aircraft in difficulty and that the Beaufort had come down in the sea. Position given as 16 miles East of Wick. The sea was choppy with a south west breeze blowing but the motor lifeboat ‘City Of Edinburgh’ was launched at 16:10 hrs discovering an exhausted airman floating in the dingy. Taking him on board they commenced a search for the remainder of the crew but no trace was found - they returned to their base at 20:00hrs.
None - all the crew were classed as ‘Missing’.
Sgt. Sidney Crocombe. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 41. Son of Arthur and May Crocombe, of Shorehamby-Sea, Sussex, England.
Sgt. William Arthur Griffin. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 44. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Arthur Griffin, of East Finchley, Middlesex, England.
Sgt. Cyril Bourne. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 40. Son of Thomas and Edith Ellen Bourne, of Sheffield, England.
Researched for Ian Rayner, cousin of Sgt. Griffin and dedicated to all the relatives of the crew. Information from Ross McNeil ‘Coastal Command Losses 1939-1941’. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.