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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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bomber command
19th June 1943 11 OTU Martinet TT.I HP464 P/O. Cromie

Operation: Training

Date: 19th June 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 11 Operational Training Unit. 92 Group

Type: Martinet TT. I

Serial: HP464

Code: -

Base: RAF Oakley, Buckinghamshire

Location: North Sea

Pilot: P/O. Noel George Cromie NZ/402516 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Drogue/Op: W/O. Frederick William Reed 1189480 RAFVR Age 28. Killed


Taking off from the satellite airfield of Westcott on a on a drogue towing air firing exercise, over the range north of Bircham Newton in Norfolk.

Towards the completion of the exercise was observed by an accompanied Wellington to descend from 1000 ft and ditch into the sesame 3 miles north of Burnham 1t 16:40 hrs.

Although the two crew survived the ditching and seen to get out of the aircraft a rescue launch was dispatched after some delays. They were not able to locate the two airman. Their bodies were later recovered.

No distress signal was received from the aircraft and seemed that engine failure being the most probable cause.

The pilot was buried at Cranworth which it is said, his fiancee lived. He had served with 218 squadron flying the Stirling on 7 operational sorties.

Burial details:

P/O. Noel George Cromie. Cranworth Churchyard (St. Mary). Born on the 31st August 1920 at Rakaia. Son of George (died 20th July 1958, age 69) and Adeline Rachel Houghton Cromie (née Mulholland - died 29th Septrmber 1958, age 68), of Rakaia, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 739 flying hours logged with 36 solo on the Martinet.

W/O. Frederick William Reed. Tunbridge Wells Cemetery. Cons. Sec. 19B. Grave 70. Son of Frederick and Gertrude Reed, of Tunbridge Wells; husband of Kathleen Vera Reed, of Tunbridge Wells, England. Grave inscription: 'One Of The Bravest One Of The Best Called Above To Eternal Rest'.

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, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 14-11-2021

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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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