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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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42 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: L9832

Code: AW-T

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.

Burial details:

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.

KTY 12.11.2015

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: 12 November 2015, 21:16

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