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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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243 Squadron Spitfire LF.IX MK771 Fl/Sgt. Brigham

Operation: Armed Reconnaissance

Date: 12th June 1944 (Monday)

Unit: No. 243 Squadron 322 Wing. 87 Wing (USAAF) Tactical Air Force

Type: Spitfire LF.IX

Serial: MK771

Code: SN-?

Base: Poretta, Corsica

Location: Near Roccastrada

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Jack McCrea Brigham NZ41141 RNZAF Age 22. Killed


Taking off at 15:00 hrs as 'Red 2' on an armed reconnaissance operation north of Florence, Italy.

During a strafing attack on three enemy vehicles near Rovinate just outside Roccastrada struck overhead power lines, hit the ground and caught fire. He was initially buried at the crash site but later reinterred at the location described below.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Jack McCrea Brigham. Assisi War Cemetery. Grave I.F.3. Born on the 08th December 1921 in Auckland. An apprentice mechanic for Universal Garage in Auckland. Enlisted on the 03rd January 1941 at Whenuapai. With No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School on 07th September 1941. Embarked for Canada on the17th November 1941. Pilots badge awarded on the 27th March 1942 and promoted to sergeant. Embarked for England on the 01st May 1942. With No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre 02nd June 1942 (contracted mumps on board so arrival at the PRC was delayed). With Pilot Advanced Flying Unit on the 24th June 1942. 58 Operational Training Unit on the 13th August 1942. Joined 129 squadron on the 20th October 1942. Left for Algeria via Gibraltar in around April 1943. Joined 243 squadron on the 28th May 1943. AS total of 4612 flying hours logged.Son of John McCrae Brigham and Clara Georgina Brigham (née Callaghanj), of Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand.

Above: L-R: Rear; Owen Preston Cross 414257, WER Alexander, Robert Bavin Graham 414282, Benjamin Allan Franklin 41277, IAG Burgess.
Centre; Raymond Cyril Going 414278, BH Bedgood, DW Chapman, AA Chandler, ML Crene, KH Doherty, Vernon Albert Trevor Benner 414231, EW Christie.
Front; DB Blackwell, L Grant, Ian Alexander Grant 414283, LG Brewer, HJ Hogill, Jack McCrea Brigham 41141, William Frank Bern 414374. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 02-07-2022

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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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