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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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21.06. 1944 15 Squadron Lancaster III LM576 Flt Lt. Arthur Jarvis

Operation: Training

Date: 21st June 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit No: 15 Squadron (motto: 'Aim Sure'). 3 Group

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: LM576

Code: LS:D

Base: RAF Mildenhall

Location: Tithe Farm, West Row, Suffolk

Pilot: Flt Lt. Arthur Jarvis 173911 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

Flt Eng: Sgt. Keith Hollinrake 1623303 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Nav: Flt Sgt. Eric William Spriggs 1320866 RAFVR Age 22. Killed

Bomb Aimer: Plt Off. Donald Wayne McRae J86303 RCAF Age 27. Killed

WOp/Air Gnr: WO. George Rubin Franklin 404681 RNZAF Age 24. Killed (1)

Air Gnr (Mid Upp): Flt Sgt. Geoffrey Parker 2207123 RAFVR Age 20. Killed

Air Gnr (Rear): Sgt. Robert Brand Grant 1824018 RAFVR Age 32. Killed


Weather: 10/10 cloud at 1500 ft. Note East wind 15 mph. Visibility 25 miles below Stratus cloud.

Taking off from RAF Mildenhall at 11:16 hrs on a formation flying exercise with Lancaster LL806 LS:J flown by Flt Lt. Sparks.

At about 11:20 hrs LM576 was seen in a steep dive with the port wing down, Although the pilot regained some control the aircraft struck the ground at a considerable speed.

(1) One of two crew that survived a crash landing on the 26th February 1944. Returning from an operation to Augsburg Lancaster I ED383 flown by 23 year old, Flt Sgt. Joseph Anthony Davis 1431240 RAFVR attempted to land at RAF Lakenheath but overshot the runway, overturned and caught fire. WO. Franklin was taken to RAF Ely hospital, but rejoined 15 squadron on the 11th March.

Burial details:

Flt Lt. Arthur Jarvis. Wilford Village Cemetery Grave 113. Son of Arthur and Gladys Jarvis, of Wilford, Nottingham, England.

325 flying hours logged with 135 on the Lancaster.

Sgt. Keith Hollinrake. Cross Stone Church Cemetery (St. Paul). Section 7 Grave 40. Son of Herbert and Clara Hollinrake, of Todmorden, Yorkshire, England.

His brother 23 year old, Flt Sgt. Donald Hollinrake 983589 RAFVR also died on service. Navigator with190 Squadron on the 22nd February 1945

Flt Sgt. Eric William Spriggs. Hounslow Cemetery. Plot A Row O Grave 24. Son of William and Dorothy Ellen Spriggs, of Hounslow, Middlesex, England.

Plt Off. Donald Wayne McRae. Brookwood Military Cemetery Plot 54 Row H Grave 2. Grave inscription:'HE SLEEPS IN GOD'S BEAUTIFUL GARDEN, IN THE SUNSHINE OF PERFECT PEACE'. Born on the 2nd May 1917 in Toronto, Ontario. Son of John Howard and Ruby Ella Mae (née Hart) McRae of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

WO. George Rubin Franklin. Hendon Cemetery. Section D 11 Collective Grave 55860 (Screen Wall Panel 2). Born on the 15th October 1919 at Masterton. Son of George Douglas Franklin and of Evelyn Cooper Franklin (nee Reid), of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. Husband of Gwendoline Kathleen Franklin(nee Potter, later Broughton), of Finchley, Middlesex, England.

Prior to service worked as a farmer for Gibsons Farm at Rahotu. Enlisted at Levin on the 23rd November 1940. Embarked for Canada on the 6th January 1941. Awarded his WOp/Air Gnr Brevet and promoted to sergeant on the 21st June 1941. A total of 468 flying hours logged and on his 2nd operational sortie.

Flt Sgt. Geoffrey Parker. Blackley Churchyard (St. Andrew). Section A Grave 487. Grave inscription:'IN OUR HEARTS YOUR MEMORY IS KEPT, FOR WE WHO LOVED YOU WILL REMEMBER'.Son of Reginald and Eileen May Parker, of Higher Blackley, Manchester, England.

Sgt. Robert Brand Grant. Gorleston Cemetery Section S Grave 237. Son of John Brand and Annie Sutherland (née King) Grant originally from Scotland but ended up living in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk after following the herring fishing fleet.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to John Jones, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, (Apr 2021). Update and addition of NoK details and photograph for Plt Off. McRae (Oct 2022). Thanks to Andrew Eaglen for the NoK details and photograph for his Great Uncle Sgt. Grant (Nov 2022).

Other sources as quoted below:

RS 01.10.2022 - Update to NoK details and photograph for Plt Off. McRae

KTY 12.11.2022 - Update to Sgt. Robert Band Grant photograph and age

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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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