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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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66 Squadron Crest
24.03.1942 No. 66 Squadron Spitfire Vc AB462 LZ-W Sq/Ldr. Cremin

Operation: Training

Date: 24th March 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 66 Squadron (10 Group) Motto: Cavete praemonui- 'Beware, I have warned')

Type: Spitfire Vc

Serial: AB462

Code: LZ-W

Base: RAF Portreath, Cornwall

Location: Frythens Farm, St Erth, Cornwall

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Daniel Edward Cremin 36128 RAF Age 25. Killed (see note)

Pilot: Sgt. William David Norman AUS/404315 RAAF Age 25. Killed


After taking off at 21:20 hrs and during a night formation flying exercise Sgt. Norman flying Spitfire AB496 is reported to have collided with AB462 whilst trying to form up. It was reported that both aircraft had their navigation lights on during this period. Both aircraft crashed at 21:55 hrs at the location shown. The cause was determined to be that Sgt. Norman was too inexperienced to carry out this procedure at night.

Sqn Ldr Cremin was an Australian pilot who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery during the siege of Habbaniya in Iraq, shortly before he died. He served in the Middle East before being transferred to 66 Squadron. Although Australian, he joined the RAF on a pre-war exchange system agreed between Australia and the UK.

Sqd Ldr Daniel Cremin in MIddle East

Sqd Ldr Daniel Cremin in Middle East (Courtesy PA)

Note: In June 2017 a local metal detectorist discovered the crash area near St. Erth near Hayle and uncovered human remains. He contacted the authorities who took over the investigation. After DNA tests with the assistance of the son, Dr. Mark Cremin, it was discovered that the remains were indeed those of Sq/Ldr. Cremin. Following the required inquest held in Cornwall, the cause was listed as an accident. In November his remains were then placed in his original grave at Wardour Roman Catholic Cemetery in Wiltshire.

In November, a second service was held and Sqn Ldr Cremin's remains were interred in his original grave at Wardour Roman Catholic Cemetery in Tisbury. Dr, Cremin, who was just two when his father died, said the discovery and burial with full honours had 'helped to conclude the whole affair'.

'I missed him as a father all those years and somehow doing that was a conclusion. It's now all in one place and drawn together.'

daniel cremin and wife

Sqd Ldr Cremin with wife Patricia Whitemore (Courtesy PA)

Burial details:

Daniel Cremin grave

Sq/Ldr. Daniel Edward Cremin. Wardour Roman Catholic Cemetery. Grave 191. Born in Sydney in 1917, the husband of Patricia Whitemore. Grave inscription reads: 'He Left The Vivid Air Signed With His Honour R.I.P'.

Sgt. William David Norman. Illogan Churchyard (St. Illogan). Row 1. Grave 14. Born on the 20th September 1916 at Melbourne, the son of William David and Alice Mabel Norman, of 138 Kitchen Road, Ascot, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription reads: 'Tell England He Died For Her And Here He Lies - Content'.

For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.

KTY 08.01.2019 SY 2022-11-07 Images and more details

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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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