Sergeant Philip George CRITTENDEN

Service No: 400410
Born: East Malvern VIC, 2 April 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 August 1940
Unit: No. 458 Squadron, RAF Station Holme-upon-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z1218), Belgium, 20 October 1941, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Charleroi Communal Cemetery, Charleroi, Hainaut, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Walter and Beatrice Annie Crittenden, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

W R Chorley states that Sergeant Crittenden was the first Australian serving in Bomber Command to be killed on operational flying with a RAAF Squadron.

Date: 20-21 October 1941
Target: Antwerp
Total Force: Dispatched – 35, Attacking – 9
RAAF Force: No. 458 Dispatched – 7 Attacking – 5
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 12
Total Aircraft Lost: 3
RAAF Aircraft Lost: 1

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 187

Wellington Z1218 took off from RAF Holme-upon-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, at 1839 hours on the night of 20 October 1941 to bomb the Antwerp Docks, Belgium. Seven aircraft from the Squadron took off on the mission, and of these Z1218 failed to return. This was the first operational loss of the Squadron. Post war it was established by a Missing Research and Enquiry unit that the aircraft crashed at Marchienne on 20 October 1941 presumably as a result of enemy action. Marchienne is located approximately 3 kms south west of Charleroi, Belgium.

The crew members of Z1218 were:

Sergeant Percival George Brown (611158) (RAF) (Rear Air Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Andrew Young Condie (968155) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Philip George Crittenden (400410) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer David Kimber Fawkes (102969) (RAFVR) (Observer)
Sergeant Peter John Maxwell Hamilton (912835) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Thomas Jackson (995859) (RAFVR) (Front Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War Volume 2 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1941, Midland Counties Publications, Leicester, 1993
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records A705, 163/98/338
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll


Alexander, P. (Peter) We Find and Destroy: history of No. 458 Squadron, The 458 Squadron Council, 1959

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