Flight Sergeant Donald Cromar - 83 Squadron  
   
 

Flight Sergeant Donald Cromar (DFM) - RAFVR

 On 2nd/3rd January 1944, Flight Sergeant Donald Cromar was serving as Flight Engineer on board Lancaster Mk.III JB114, coded OL-Q, when it took off from Wyton at 0003hrs for an operation to bomb Berlin. It was to crash at Zehrensdorf, 6km SE of Zossen killing all of the crew. Originally buried at Zehrensdorf, they were later laid to rest in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

 The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/L Lindsay Munro - MID

RNZAF

Pilot

-

30

F/Sgt Donald Cromar - DFM

RAFVR

Flight Engineer

Wandsworth

24

F/O Peter Ewing

RCAF

Navigator

Huxley, Alberta

22

P/O Charles Wall

RCAF

Bomb Aimer

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

25

P/O John Hitchen

RAFVR

Wireless Air Gunner

Staffordshire

22

F/Sgt Robert Hunter

RAFVR

Air Gunner

-

-

F/O George Harris

RAFVR

Air Gunner

-

2

 

 Flight Sergeant Donald Cromar DFM, RAFVR was born in 1920 at Wandsworth to Charles and Sarah Cromar. He had two brothers and two sisters. His older brother Eddie was a member of Henry Hallís BBC Jazz Orchestra, while his two sisters were also well known West End stage and theatre artists. He was brought up by his sisters Girlie & Gertie who were devastated at his death and never really got over the loss of their "baby brother". He worked as an assembler before enlisting in 1938 and trained as a Flight Engineer. He had recently flown on a special duties tour with 192 squadron and his DFM was gazetted on 19th October 1943

.

Donald (seated) while with ATC

 

Cromar,Donald .613136.No 192 Squadron. Sorties: 28, Flying hours: 191

The citation states:

"This Flight Engineer has completed 28 sorties and his energy,cheerfulness and understanding of his aircraft has been of the highest order throughout.His keenness to enter on operational flying is outstanding and Cromar seems happiest when flak is bursting near his aircraft, and on other occasions when the element of danger is great. This spirit has had a tremendously good effect on the morale of the remainder of the crew. The care and interest that he takes in his aircraft, whether it is on the ground or in the air, has always been of an exceptionally high standard and has been an inspiring influence to the ground maintenance personnel as well as giving added confidence to his aircrew."

20th August 1943

Remarks by Station Commander-

"An exceptionally keen and courageous N.C.O. who is held in high esteem by his crew and also by the ground crew for his constant cheerfulness and personal interest in his aircraft. Award recommended"

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jean and Graham Bassett, research by Linda Ibrom.