Ministry of Defence
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British Legion
The Royal British Legion

Pilot Officer W A Mitcham  RAF
Wireless Operator
626 Squadron  RAF Wickenby

This article is Copyright © Dave Stapleton 2001

Plt Off  William Abram Mitcham, a Wireless Operator, was posted to 626 Squadron on the 22nd November 1944 from 101 Squadron.

On the evening of the 4th April 1945 Plt Off Mitcham and his crew took off from RAF Wickenby in Lincolnshire at 21.01 hours in Lancaster PD295 UM-B2 on a mission to bomb a synthetic oil plant near Lutzkendorf.

The crew were:

      Flight Lieutenant K H Eames – Pilot
      Sergeant G H Fletcher – Flight Engineer
      Flying Officer A D Moore – Navigator
      Sergeant R F Clarke – Mid Upper Gunner
      Flying Officer W Young – Air Bomber
      Pilot Officer W A Mitcham – Wireless Operator
      Sergeant G W Davies – Rear Gunner

Some time after take off the aircraft crashed into the sea just off the French channel coast, the reasons for the crash are not known.

Only five bodies of the seven crewmen were found, these being washed ashore at various times and locations after the crash.

Recent research has found that the bodies of Plt Off Mitcham and Sgt Clarke were washed ashore near the French village of Equihen and the bodies were initially buried in Equihen Churchyard.  However at some time later, the bodies were transferred to Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Index No Fr.184.

Fg Off Moore is buried in Calais Southern Cemetery, France.
Sgt Davies is buried in Pihen-les-Guines War Cemetery, France.
Sgt Fletcher is buried in Texel (Den Burg) General Cemetery, Holland.

The bodies of Flt Lt Eames and Fg Off Young were never found, they are remembered at the Runnymede Memorial (panel 265 and 268 respectively).

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1 September 2001

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