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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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115 Squadron Crest
26.11.1944 No. 115 Squadron Lancaster I PD293 KO-O P/O. William Crebbin

Operation: Training

Date: 26th November 1944 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 115 Squadron

Type: Lancaster I 

Serial: PD293

Code: KO-O

Base: RAF Witchford, Cambridgeshire.

Location: North Sea?

Pilot: P/O. William Donald Crebbin 188647 RAFVR Age 20. Missing (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. John Edmund Parkin 1678439 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Harry Donald Hooper R/191599 RCAF Age ? Missing

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Frank Thompson 652750 RAF Age ? Missing

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Edward Alfred Tragheim 160872 RAFVR Age 30. Missing

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Mathew Blenkinsop 1595390 RAFVR Age 22. Missing

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Ian McKinnon R/2296A RCAF Age 27. Missing


Took off at 12:10 hrs from Witchford. Not much known regarding this loss as nothing was heard from them during an H2S (2) training exercise over the North Sea. It is thought that they experienced some difficulties with the aircraft or the weather as no reports of combat were made by either side for that time.

F/O. Edward Alfred Tragheim and his wedding to Christina (courtesy Bodhi Sering via Linda Ibrom)

(1) P/O. Crebbin lost his older brother a few months earlier. 22 year old F/O. Alan Francis Crebbin 136385 RAFVR killed serving with 177 Squadron in India.

(2 ) H2S was the first airborne, ground scanning radar system. It was developed in Britain in World war II for the Royal Air Force and was used in various RAF bomber aircraft from 1943 to the 1990s. It was designed to identify targets on the ground for night and all-weather bombing.

Memorial at the village sign in Witchford, Cambridgeshire.

Burial details:

P/O. William Donald Crebbin. Runnymede Memorial Panel 210. Son of Frank Crebbin, and of Catherine Elizabeth Crebbin, of Port St. Mary, Isle of Man.

Sgt. John Edmund Parkin. Runnymede Memorial Panel 235. Son of John Edwin and Lily Parkin, of Sheffield, England.

Fl/Sgt. Harry Donald Hooper. Runnymede Memorial Panel 254. Son of Harry Robert Hooper, and of Margaret Hooper, of London, Ontario, Canada.

Left: Fl/Sgt. Hooper (courtesy 1st Hussars Museum via Mike Harrison)

Fl/Sgt. Frank Thompson. Runnymede Memorial Panel 222. No further details, are you able to assist?

F/O. Edward Alfred Tragheim. Runnymede Memorial Panel 209. Son of Alfred and Elsie May Tragheim (Also of Broughty Ferry, Dundee), husband of Christina T. Tragheim, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Mathew Blenkinsop. Runnymede Memorial Panel 225. Son of Matthew and Margaret Ann Blenkinsop, of Sunderland, Co. Durham, England.

Fl/Sgt. Ian McKinnon. Runnymede Memorial Panel 255. Son of John and Valentine McKinnon, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered - dedicated to the relatives of F/O. Tragheim and all the crew relatives.

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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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