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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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RAF Crest
17.02.1945 No. 12 Ferry Unit Spitfire LF.IX PT360 W/O. Grahame W. Barling

Operation: Ferry flight

Date: 17th February 1945

Unit: No. No. 12 Ferry Unit

Type: Spitfire IXE

Serial: NH276

Code: -

Base: Melton Mowbray. Leicestershire

Location: Kimmeridge Cliffs, Dorset, England

Pilot: W/O. Grahame Wiliam Barling 1331895 RAF Age 21. Killed

We have little information on this loss and the son of the wife of W/O. Barling is currently seeking further information - if you have any information it would be appreciated and forwarded to the relatives.

Update May 2016: Steve Barrett received confirmed details from the Ministry of Defence on this loss and as such they have now been added to the page.


We understand that during a formation flight two Spitfires crashed in low visibility into the cliffs at Kimmeridge in Dorset at 14:10 hrs. We also understand that the other pilot, ‘possibly’ Kjeld Christian Johan Pederson (Danish Pilot) survived. (incorrect as shown in update)


Whilst in formation with Spitfire PT360 the aircraft flew into high ground on the cliff top and disintegrated. The pilot (it is reported) took off without authorisation and failed to turn back in bad weather with unserviceable overload tank. This U/S tank did not affect accident - the Flying Control Officer should not have permitted flying, the report went on to state that the pilot was influenced by the other pilot although a mutual agreement was made for this pilot to navigate for the other.

The Flying Control Officer (FCO) was to be re-tested/evaluated following the incident.

It is understood that the aircraft was on a delivery flight from Rennes in France to Portreath in Cornwall. The other pilot, F/O. H.M. Holdsworth flying Spitfire PT360 crashed in the same location, the pilot suffered severe injuries.

The report states that the reason for the pilots meeting up is not explained on either file or the loss card.

Trained at Hillside Camp, Bulawayo, South Rhodesia and No. 20 SFTS. Cranborne, Salisbury. Between 1941 - 1942.

(We decided to type all the newspaper articles in order to enable names mentioned to be searchable and hopefully others will contact us with additional information.)

RAF W/O. Wedding

The wedding took place at St. John’s Church, Herne Bay. last week of Warrant Officer G.W. Barling RAF, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs W.M. Barling of Sea Street, and Miss Betty Rawson, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Rawson of ‘Durban’, Sea Street. The bride is on the staff of Herne Bay Telephone Exchange. The Reverend W. Blathwayt (curate) officiated.

Killed While Flying Warrant Officer G.W. Barling.

Official notification has been received that Warrant Officer Grahame William Barling of the RAF, has been killed as the result of a flying accident. Aged 21, Warrant Officer Barling was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs W.M. Barling of Sea Street, Herne Bay. Upon leaving school he assisted his father for a time in his grocery business, and subsequently went to London. In 1941 he volunteered for the Royal Air Force and was made a Warrant Officer in March last. He has been engaged since joining the RAF exclusively on ferry service and was expected to be commissioned shortly. There is an added poignancy to his death from the fact that it was only three weeks ago he was married at St. John’s Church to Miss Betty Rawson, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Rawson of ‘Durban’, Sea Street, Herne Bay.

Funeral Service at Methodist Church.

The funeral took place last week of Warrant Officer G.W. Barling RAF, son of Mr. and Mrs W.M. Barling of Sea Street, Herne Bay, whose death was reported on the ‘Press’ last week. A service was held in the Methodist Church High Street, prior to internment at the Cemetery, Edington. The Rev. de Lacey Evans (Minister), the Rev. W. Jiberton Baker, of the Methodist Church, Teddington (Uncle of the Warrant Officer), and the Rev. W. Blathwayt (Curate of Herne Bay) officiated.

Miss Snow, at the organ, accompanied the hymns and also played ‘Ave Maria’ which was rendered at the church on the occasion of the Warrant Officer’s wedding three weeks before his death, and the Rev. de Lacey Evans gave a moving address.

The principle family mourners were the widow, Mr. and Mrs W.M. Barling (father and mother) Mr. K. Barling (brother) and Mr. and Mrs W.M. Barling (father-in-law and mother-in-law)

IN addition to floral tributes from the family, flowers were sent by the Commanding Officer and Officers, RAF, W/O’s and SNCO’s RAF, Airmen and Airwomen RAF, Herne Bay Grocers Association, St. John’s Hall Committee and band, Postmaster and Staff, GPO Herne Bay, Friends of the Methodist Church, friends and neighbours Sea Street.

Mrs. Porter, Mr. and Mrs Harman, Mrs. Terry, Mr. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Sargent and family, Mr. French and Maude, Mr. and Mrs. Bewley Bull, Mr. and Mrs. Burton, Mr. and Mrs. Cole, Mr. and Mrs.Bond, Graham, Joan and Seymour, Mr. and Mrs. Higgins, Mr. and Mrs. Goldsmith, Margaret and Hugh, Mrs. Brent, Emmie, Fred and Bairns, F/O. and Mrs. Mann, Mr. and Mrs. Shipley, Mr. and Mrs. England, Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Heywood, Miss Stubbs, Miss Cairns, the Misses Hilda, Winnie and Ida Burnett.

Sisters, Tinsley, Hawkes and Knight (Herne Bay Hospital) John and Rita, Mr. and Mrs. E. Mills, Mr. and Mrs. Sainsbury and family, Mr. and Mrs. Dees, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Sawtell, Mr. and Mrs. Sturt, Mr. and Mrs. Maddock, Miss Coleman, Mr. and Mrs. Pactlyffe.

In leau of flowers other friends sent donations to the RAF Benevolent Fund. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Heath and Baker, High Street and Station Road, Herne Bay.

Burial details:

W/O. Grahame Wiliam Barling. Herne Bay Cemetery. Sec. NN. Grave 249. Son of William Masters Barling and Nellie Margaret Barling, husband of Betty F. Barling (née Rawson), of Sea Street, Herne Bay, England also, ‘Jasmine’ 53 Station Road, Herne Bay, Kent, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Steve Barrett who’s mother was married to the pilot. Steve also supplied the photographs. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25.05.216 New information added

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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', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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