View Full Version : Spitfire JF833 - lost Singapore

11th January 2009, 07:35
This a/c, with F/O Raymond Jack Crossfield, RCAF J/21577, was FTR on ops in Singapore [now corrected to Burma] but there's a conflict in dates in my sources. The CWGC has his death as 14 April 1944 while the history of the aircraft on Spitfires UK has it as March. Does anyone have a record of this one in their sources? I presume, since he was listed as FTR, that it wasn't a case of died of injuries later. It may just be a typo but I'd also like to know more about the crash if possible.

"They Shall Not Grow Old" has him going down 90mi east of his base near Singapore in April.

And on a slightly different note. I'd like to thank all on the board again for their help with my boys of Malvern project. I am meeting with the archives committee of the school in a few days, which is why I have been so busy trying to suss out their honour roll. I will be consulting all the student registration cards for the period.

11th January 2009, 08:19
Hi David,

According to `Warbirds of India` website` he was killed in an accident on the 13/4/44,but if CWGC says 14th then perhaps he did die of injuries?

See the `WofI` website:



11th January 2009, 08:44
Hi David,

according to RAF serials Spitfire VIII JF833: 136 Sq Missing on 14.3.1944.


11th January 2009, 12:23
Hi David,

Norman Franks had this to say on Crossfield :-

Engine trouble caused another loss this day (13/4/44), this time to a 136 Squadron Spitfire. Eleven aircraft were flying top cover to ground attack Hurricanes. Over the target area, Flying Officer R.J.Crossfield reported that his engine was cutting out but no one saw him go down.

Flying Officer R.King (of 136 squadron), commented:-

Ray Crossfield was a Canadian and was a particular friend of mine. He was on patrol over one of the strips behind Japanese lines and was on his way back to base at Wangjing, he developed engine trouble and made a forced landing in the jungle. He unfortunately never returned, although later in the year, whilst on leave in Shillong, I met some Chindits who actually saw his Spitfire from which he obviously survived the landing. Sadly he did not succeed in making the terrible journey back on foot.

(On p.212, Franks' identifies Crossfield's a/c., only as, 'P').

The Air Battle of Imphal.
London:William Kimber,1985.
pp.74-5 & 212.

11th January 2009, 14:53
Wonderful. Thanks all. Another interesting story, this time in the jungle. It looks like the definitive answer is 13-4-44 for the crash. But I wonder why his official date is a month and a day off in CWGC's records? Could it be just a mistake or does it point to some knowledge of his survival and attempt to walk out? Interesting leads to follow. I wonder if his sqn mate is still alive?

Graham Boak
11th January 2009, 19:29
Certainly not Singapore, nor anywhere near it, as it remained in Japanese hands until after the end of the war.

11th January 2009, 20:14
Certainly not Singapore, nor anywhere near it, as it remained in Japanese hands until after the end of the war.

Quite right Graham. I was mislead by the notation in another source and the location of the memorial, which is in Singapore. The squadron history says there were detachments from 136 Sqn to Burma, which of course is why they were taking part in the air battle of Imphal as noted.

5th January 2011, 21:28
F/O Ray Crossfield, according to a squadron mate, successfully crash-landed Spitfire JF833 90 miles east of his base at Malaya on 13 Apr 1944, but failed to find his way out of the jungle and was never found. His plane, however, was discovered relatively intact by Chindits, which is the basis for the assumption that he died while trying to walk out of the jungle.

Is there any way of knowing what became of the aircraft? It's location was known, so a salvage was theoretically possible. Would they have bothered?

The Spitfire production site has the notation lost on ops 3 March 1944, but I assume the date is a transcribing error.

5th January 2011, 22:05
Hi David
Could I question your location for the Spitfire? Apr '44 we were fighting in Burma and I don't think we reached Malaya until 1945. Secondly the 2nd Chindit Operation began in March '44 and was confined to N Burma and NE India at the time of the Japanese offensive around Imphal. It doesn't invalidate the idea of a pilot lost trying to walk out of the jungle but your location may be in error.

5th January 2011, 22:15
Hi Dick,

You're right, it was Burma. I was looking at an older copy of my notes that still had the mistake in them. We thrashed out the location for this one in an earlier thread on the loss.


The quote about the Chindits comes from Norman Franks book on Imphal.