LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Alexander Robert CRAINE

Service No: 404496
Born: Lismore NSW, 16 February 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 September 1940
Unit: No. 224 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station St Eval
Died: Air Operations: (No. 224 Squadron Liberator aircraft EV878), Bay of Biscay, 12 August 1944, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. George Craine, of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Muriel Gertrude Craine, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada
Roll of Honour: Lismore NSW
Remembered: Panel 257, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Lismore Cenotaph, Lismore NSW

On the evening of 11 August 1944 Liberator EV878 took off from St Eval to carry out an anti-submarine patrol and failed to return. The aircraft was shot down by HMS Onslow in the Bay of Biscay west of La Rochelle, France. The aircraft exploded in the air and was seen by naval vessels to crash into the sea. The vessels were quickly on the spot but there were no survivors.

The crew members of EV878 were:

Flying Officer William Andrews (421492) (RNZAF) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Herbert Cato (420443) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Flying Officer Alexander Robert Craine (404496) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Sergeant Jack Thomas Dunn (1386069) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Flying Officer John Douglas Eglen (169690) (RAFVR) (First Navigator)
Warrant Officer William John Knill (751925) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Squadron Leader Edward Workman Lindsay (74707) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant John Francis Phillips (575265) (RAF) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Cyril Walter Rumley (156907) (RAFVR) (Second Navigator)
Sergeant John Frederick George Stebbings (1615921) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/8/593
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Jay, Alwyn Harold (421336), Endurance; Coastal Command Liberator Operations 1941-5, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD, 4650, 1996