LEST WE FORGET
Sergeant Henry Bert CROCKER
Service No: 407941
Born: North Adelaide SA, 3 September 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 610 Squadron (RAF), RAF Coltishall, Norfolk
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 610 Squadron Spitfire aircraft AD912), Norfolk, 19 May 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Scottow Cemetery, Norwich, Norfolk
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edward Henry and Annie Elizabeth Crocker, of Barmera, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Barmera SA
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
On the 19th May 1942, Spitfire AD912 flown by Sergeant Crocker took off from RAF Coltishall, detailed to carry out a non-operational daytime air firing exercise. It collided in flight with Spitfire BL 267, and due to loss of the port aileron and other unknown causes, it crashed at 1645 hours into the ground and caught fire. AD 912 went into a flat spin and hit high tension cables and the Pilot was killed.
The Pilot of BL267, Pilot Officer M Rousselot, who was uninjured, was a member of the FAFL (Free French Forces). This aircraft struck Spitfire AD 912 in the rear of the fuselage and the top of the port main plane. The Pilot of BL 267 carried out a successful forced landing on the aerodrome at Ludham, Norfolk, with the wheels down.
The Group Captain of RAF Coltishall in his remarks on the accident stated: “I interviewed Rousselot after the crash. From his statement, I consider him the most responsible for the accident. Rousselot was leading Red Section which was detailed for air to sea firing, with Sergeant Crocker as Red 2. He changed position in the formation without telling Red 2 on the radio, and I think that in the final change over from the starboard to the port side of Red 2, he lost sight of the aircraft underneath him.”
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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/98/507