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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 42 Squadron Beaufort I L9832 AW:T Sqn Ldr. Arthur W.D. Miller

Operation: Special Striking Force

Date: 9th 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: Sqn Ldr. Arthur William Daley Miller 33171 RAF Age? Survived (1)

Obs: Sgt. Sidney Crocombe 744957 RAFVR Age 25. Missing

WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. William Arthur Griffin 620429 RAF Age 20. Missing

WOp/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.

(1) Arthur William Daley Miller entered the RAF College, Cranwell in 1933, was a member of 'B' Sqn and attained the rank of Flt Cdt Sgt. He also represented the college in Tennis and Hockey. He was commissioned on 27th July 1935 in the rank of Plt Off. which was promulgated in the London Gazette on the 10th September 1935. He retired from the RAF on the 1st December 1957 with the rank of Wg Cdr. He was a graduate of the RAF Staff College.

Burial details:

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 by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) for Ian Rayner, cousin of Sgt. Griffin and dedicated to all the relatives of the crew (Nov 2915). Details for Sqn Ldr. Miller completed by Aircrew Remembered (Apr 2022).

Other sources listed shown below.

RS 15.04.2022 - Update to Sqn Ldr. Miller details

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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