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Crich, William Ralph "Bill"

Date of birth:
1914 (Malta)
Date of death:
July 16th, 1947 (Shaibah/Basra, Iraque)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Servicenumber 564578.

William Ralph Crich was born at Malta. After having moved first to Derbyshire, Great Britain, the family moved to Edinburgh. Ralph had three sisters, Irene, Dorothy and Lilian. He married and had a son, Ron.

During an attack with his No. 103 Squadorn Fairey Battle on Amiens/Bernaville, France, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Crich had to make a forced landing, but managed to reach his base the following day. On June 10th, 1940, Sergeant Crich attacked a target in the vicinity of Venron, France in his No. 103 Squadron Fairey Battle I, K9409. The plane was severe damaged, but Crich managed to press through the attack and to reach the homebase. In January 1941, then flying with No. 103 Squadron, at that time Sergeant Crich had to ditch with his crew in Sea. He had to stay afloat two days before being recued. In the night of 20th-21st November 1942, during a mission as Pilot Officer in No 15 Squadron, Short Stirling BK595 he was forced to make an emergency landing at Playa de Aro in Spain and was at first interred before reaching England.

After the war he flew with BOAC. He deid in a planecrash during a landing on July 16th, 1947 in BOAC, AVRO 658 York C.1, G-AGNR, c/n 1219.

Promotions:
7th April 1942: Pilot Officer on probation (Emergency);
7th October 1942: Pilot Officer on probation (War subs.);
9th September 1943: Flight Lieutenant (War subs.).

DUE TO THE MIXING UP WITH THE NAMES CRICH/CRITCH IN HISTORICAL SOURCES, ANY INFORMATION IS WELCOME.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
No. 103 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
July 16th, 1940
Received for his part in the attack near Vernon, France on June 10th, 1940.
Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
No. 103 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
September 24th, 1941

In the London Gazette probably by mistake named as W.R. Critch (according to research Tavender).
Mentioned in Dispatches

Sources

  • Photo 1: Linda Askin
  • - The London Gazette, Issue 34898, dated 16th July 1940
    - Supplement to The London Gazette of 23rd September 1941, Issue 35284, dated 24th September 1941
    - The London Gazette of 5th May 1942, Issue 35547
    - Sixth Supplement to The London Gazette of 29th December 1942, Issue 35845, dated 1st January 1943
    - Conscript Heroes
    - Bourn, Cambridge
    - RAF Commands
    - Traces of World War Two

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