Pilot Officer Charles Richardson DIGGES DFC

Service No: 402155
Born: Sydney NSW, 3 January 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 June 1940
Unit: No. 139 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Oulton
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 26 September 1941
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 139 Squadron Hudson aircraft V9231), Oulton, 18 December 1941, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Norwich Cemetery, Norfolk
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Daniel Sullivan Digges and Minnie Digges, of Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Coonamble NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Coonamble War Memorial, Coonamble NSW

DFC Citation (for service with No. 139 Squadron (RAF)): “In September 1941, Pilot Officer Digges and Sergeant Cowen (RAF), both as pilots of aircraft carried out an attack on a large enemy tanker off Blankenberge (Belgium). Undeterred by intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from four E boats, Pilot Officer Digges and Sergeant Cowan pressed home their attacks from mast height and both pilots obtained direct hits on the tanker which was left enveloped in smoke and flames. An hour later, the tanker was seen to be sinking. Both crew members displayed unflinching courage in the destruction of a valuable enemy ship.” Pilot Officer Digges’ co-pilot Sergeant G B Cowen (RAF) was awarded the DFM for his part in the action.

In December 1941, No 139 Squadron was no longer in the Bomber Command Order of Battle and was in the process of being reequipped with Hudson aircraft prior to being transferred to South East Asia. In early 1942, the Squadron joined battle in Burma and was absorbed into No. 62 Squadron (RAF) in April 1942 before being reraised in Bomber Command in June 1942.

Pilot Officer Digges was pilot of Hudson V9231 which crashed at 1045 hours on 18 December 1941 at Oulton, Norfolk. The cause of the crash was unknown and both crew members were killed.

The crew members of V9231 were:

Pilot Officer Charles Richardson Digges DFC (402155) (Pilot)
Sergeant Michael Terence Garfin (1002281) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 163/102/27
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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