Flying Officer Edmund Russell CRITCHER

Service No: 402319
Born: Corrimal NSW, 18 February 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 August 1940
Unit: No. 461 Squadron, Pembroke Dock
Died: Air Operations (No. 461 Squadron Sunderland aircraft JM 676), Bay of Biscay, 29 November 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Hector Sydney Roy and Ruth Critcher; husband of Lola Joyce Critcher, of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Corrimal NSW
Remembered: Panel 187, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 108, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

Conditions hardly changed over the Bay during November, however, for although the “Percussion” patrols were again moved to more favourable areas only eight U-boats were sighted—an average effort of 1,240 hours on patrol for each sighting, although the sinking of two U-boats did mitigate the expenditure of such a tremendous effort. The Australian contribution was somewhat curtailed as No. 10 had three crews absent undergoing special radar courses but the Sunderland patrols whether by night or on the new dawn sweeps encountered nothing except appalling weather and enemy fighters. … Casualties continued to be high, however, for one Sunderland from each squadron (Nos 10 and 461) was shot down during the month (November 1943) and widespread searches failed to discover any survivors.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 624-5

The crew members of JM 676 were:

Flying Officer Garth William Beresford Bye (423628) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Edmund Russell Critcher (402319) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Jacques Dupont DFM (400114) (Second Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Vernon Hore (412533) (Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Donald Stanley Pearse Howe (401956) (Pilot)
Sergeant Richard Jeffreys (1562530) (RAFVR) (Flight Mechanic Engines / Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Kevin Moritz (419325) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Henry Poulton (420051) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Henry Royal (414321) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Leslie George Studman (415745) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Gordon Yates Temple (5364) (Third Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Lee White (570571) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Winston John Withers (422071) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9186, 148 (No. 461 Squadron Operations Record Book)
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten; the Sunderland era, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

Book Now Book Now