Flying Officer Richard Thomas Edwin LATHAM

From Australia serving in the Royal Air Force

Service No: 124933 (RAF)
Born: Date, Location unavailable
Enlisted in the RAF: Date unavailable
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Station Leuchars, Fife
Died: Air Operations: (No. 455 Squadron Hampden aircraft AE378), Norway, 15 August 1943, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of the Rt Honourable Sir John Greig Latham, PC, GCMG, KC, MA, LLM and Lady Latham BA (Melb), BCL (Oxon), Rhodes Scholar, Fellow of All Souls (Oxon), of South Yarra, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 125, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Commemorative Roll, Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Ten Hampdens (of No. 455 Squadron) were detached to Benbecula (Scotland) on 5th August (1943) to conduct anti-submarine patrols, three aircraft flying that day over the Faeroe – Shetlands channel and landing at Reykjavik in Iceland, returning to Wick (Scotland) the following day after a similar patrol. The Benbecula detachment was cancelled on 8th August when six junior crews were sent to Tain (Scotland) for specific torpedo-strike training, while the other crews turned once more to their old Norwegian hunting grounds, attempting in all fifty sorties in that area for the disappointing result of one bombing and one torpedo attack.

Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 616

Hampden AE 378 took off from RAF Leuchars at 0059 hours on the night of 14/15th August 1943 to carry out a shipping reconnaissance in the Leads, Fjords and Anchorages on the Norwegian coast between 2100 and 0400 hours. AE378 was one of three aircraft from the Squadron that took part in the reconnaissance and AE 378 failed to return to base. One of the aircraft Hampden ‘S’ saw what appeared to be the wreckage of a burning aircraft in the Romsdals Fjord, Norway.

The crew members of AE 378 were:

Warrant Officer Colin Blair Campbell (406431) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Vincent Bernard Joseph Finn (411763) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Richard Thomas Edwin Latham (124933) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Edward Marriott (551777) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Commemorative Roll On-Line Records
Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/24/157


Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951

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