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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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681 Squadron crest
18.10.1943 No. 681 Squadron Mosquito PR.IV LR441 Fl/Lt. Lucien L.G. Javaux

Operation: Ferry flight

Date: 18th October 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 681 Squadron

Type: Mosquito PR.IV

Serial: LR441

Base: RAF Allahabad, India.

Location: RAF Ranchi, India

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Lucien Leon Gustav Javaux 84284 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper 1217634 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


On a ferry flight from Allahabad to Dumdum, India when during very bad weather in torrential rain it was decided to land at RAF Ranchi even though the runway could only be lit by headlights from various vehicles.

During the fourth attempt to land the aircraft hit a river bank short of the runway, killing both crew members.

Above left: Fl/Lt. Lucien Leon Gustav Javaux (courtesy Johny Recour) Right: Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper (courtesy Paul Harper)

Burial Details:

Both crew originally buried at Ranchi War Cemetery, India. The body of Fl/Lt. Javaux was reinterred at Fleuris, Belgium in October 1961.

Fl/Lt. Lucien Leon Gustav Javaux. The Maidenhead Register. Repatriated to Belgium. Buried at Fleuris, Belgium. Next of Kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these? Further information: Born 16th August 1911 in Namur, Belgium. Joined Belgian Air Force in August 1934. Escaped to England after the collapse of France and commissioned in the RAF on 13th August 1940. First posted to 235 Squadron before beckming an instructor with various units. Finally joining 681 Squadron on Mosquitoes.

Sgt. Arthur Clifford Harper. Ranchi War Cemetery. Grave 2.C.9. Son of Arthur and Alice Harper, of Erdington, Birmingham, England. The eldest son of a Midlands iron foundry worker, Clifford was interested in mathematics, which he studied at evening school. He was much mourned by his parents, two sisters and younger brother Philip, whose own interest and career in science was sparked by reading Clifford's books.

Researched for relatives of the crew with thanks to the following for further information, John Recour of Belgium, Paul Harper who contacted us in January 2017, RAF Commands Forum, Battle of Britain Historical Society, Aircrew Remembered own archives.

KTY 27.01.2017 Page updated

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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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