24.03.1942 No. 66 Squadron Spitfire Vc AB462 LZ-W Sq/Ldr. Cremin
Date: 24th March 1942 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 66 Squadron (10 Group) Motto: Cavete praemonui- 'Beware, I have warned')
Type: Spitfire Vc
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
REASON FOR LOSS:
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 (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.'
Sqd Ldr Cremin with wife Patricia Whitemore (Courtesy PA)
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.