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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 Crest
31.10.1942 88 Squadron Boston III W8287 Ground Crew killed

Operation: Ground accident

Date: 31st October 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 88 Squadron

Type: Boston III

Serial: W8297

Code: RH-?

Base: RAF Oulton, Norfolk

Location: At base - Norfolk

Ground crew lost:

LAC. Francis Frederick Packard 1403000 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

LAC. Archibald Torrance 1365831 RAFVR Age 24. Killed

AC1. Edward John Bone 1449150 RAFVR Age 31. Killed

AC2. Harry Bramham 1217973 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

AC2. Arnold Clifford Emery 1313486 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

AC2. Kenneth Frederick Fowler 1450295 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Thousands of both aircrew and ground crew were killed during WW2 - most are never commemorated anywhere. We aim to address this and invite relatives of airman/women killed during such tragedies to contact us.


During, what has been classed as the worst accident on a RAF base in Norfolk of WW2, the ground crew were unloading 250 lb bombs that had been brought back from an operation from a Boston of 88 Squadron.

No further details, but a massive explosion took place - killing 6 ground crew and destroying the Boston.

Burial details:

LAC. Francis Frederick Packard. Erith (Brook Street) Cemetery. Sec L. Grave 388. Son of Joseph and Rose Packard, of Belvedere, London, England.

LAC. Archibald Torrance. Rutherglen Cemetery. Div. S. Grave 267. Son of Daniel Stevenson Torrance and Annie Bell Torrance, of Glasgow, husband of Helen Jane Milligan Torrance, of Glasgow, Scotland.

AC1. Edward John Bone. Norton-In-The-Moors (St. Bartholomew) Churchyard. Grave 117. Husband of Frieda May Bone, of Norton-In-The-Moors, Staffordshire, England.

AC2. Harry Bramham. Rotherham (Moorgate) Cemetery. Sec.K. 3rd New. Grave 287. Son of Leonard James Bramham and Doris Abigail Bramham, of Rotherham, Yorkshire, England.

AC2. Arnold Clifford Emery. Romsey Cemetery. Sec. U. Grave 56. Son of Harry and Susan Emery, of Romsey, husband of Ivy M. Emery, of West Wellow, Wiltshire, England.

AC2. Kenneth Frederick Fowler. Wymondham Cemetery. Sec 3. Grave 465. Son of Frederick Alomis Fowler and Rose Gwendoline Fowler, of Wymondham, Norfolk, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

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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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