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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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401 Squadron Crest
28.08.1942 No. 401 Squadron Spitfire IXb BR628 Fl/Lt. Whitham DFC

Operation: Circus 210

Date: 28th August 1942 (Friday)

Unit: 401 Squadron

Type: Spitfire IXb

Serial: BR628

Code: YO-?

Base: RAF Biggin Hill

Location: Near Amiens, France

Pilot: Fl/Lt. James Whitham DFC. J/15281 RCAF Age 23. Killed

We are extremely grateful to François Dutil (438 Squadron Archivist) for supplying photographs and information to Aircrew Remembered in October 2017. All photographs shown within this page are available to relatives at a higher resolution (as are most of those named within this page) - courtesy of François.


Circus 210 - the squadron were detailed to supply an escort to 12 Fortresses enrolee to bomb Meaute in France. They encountered opposition from Luftwaffe fighters over Amiens and engaged at 13:30 hrs.

It is thought probable that he was shot down during this encounter - JG2 placed a claim for him.

Another Spitfire was also hit on this operation:

Spitfire IXb BS180 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Andrew Lloyd Sinclair J/17656 RCAF - he managed to return to base with the aircraft suffering category B damage. Read more here.

Above L-R: Sgt. 'Tuck' Tucker, Fl/Lt. 'Jeep' Neal, Fl/Lt. Jim Tyre, Sgt. Hugh Pope, F/O. Don Blakeslee, Sgt. MacLennan DFM. Front kneeling: P/O. Jim Witham DFC.

Above L-R: Fl/Sgt. Jim Whitham, Fl/Sgt. Deane Macdonald (killed on the 30th November 1943), Fl/Lt. Hugh Merritt, P/O. George F. Newton, Fl/Sgt. Gerry Denancrede.

Above left: Jim Whitham. Right: Jim Whitham with P/O. Gerald Bickle Whitney J/15189 RCAF from Fort Worth, Texas USA. (Killed 28th April 1942)

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. James Whitham DFC. St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 12. Son of Charles and Lilian Whitham and husband of Margaret Craig Whitham, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Francois Dutil, also to Len for the grave photograph. Other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 12.11.2017

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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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