Alex Davidson, George's Nephew-in-law writes: "I am researching my own and my wife's family history and her uncle George Alexander Croall was the pilot that was lost on February 24 1943 off the Dutch coast. It says in the 118 Squadron history "North Sea Action"---- These could however be costly as on February 24 when F/Sgt Croall was lost off the Dutch coast and F/Sgt Buglass ditched his Spitfire EN969."
George in basic flying training in Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Canada - 30Aug41. Left to Right: LAC F Edgar, George Alexander Croall, P/O Ferguson (Instructor), LAC R Harvey, LAC D Connor.
We have the letters that were sent to his parents etc and a photograph of George with his plane as just before he was killed he was given authority to display the crest of his home town, Barrow in Furness on the side of his Spitfire.
George in advanced flying training - looks like Harvards but do not know where.
Newspaper cutting reporting the loss of George Croall and relating the permission that was given for him to have the coat-of-arms of his home town Barrow on his Spitfire.
It consists of a photo-graph of him on the wing of his aircraft, plus a copy of the telegram to his parents informing them that he is missing, a letter dated 25 February 1943 from Flight Lieutenant Commanding No 118 Squadron, at R A F Coltishall, and another letter from the Record Office Gloucester dated 15 April 1943 signed R Williamson Air Commodore Air Officer ic Records.
Telegram stating "REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SON FL-SGT GEORGE ALEXANDER CROALL IS MISSING AS THE RESULT OF AIR OPERATIONS ON 24 TH FEB 43 STOP LETTER FOLLOWS STOP ANY FURTHER INFORMATION RECEIVED WILL BE IMMEDIATELY COMMUNICATED TO YOU - RAF COLTISH ALL
Letter of condolence from George's Commanding officer Flt Lt. Newbery.
Both these letters explain that George was sent with another pilot to attack an objective in enemy territory Manniston Burt/Zond Canal and the other aircraft was damaged by anti aircraft fire. On returning home George was concerned about his leader's plight so he flew underneath the other aircraft to observe the damage and at around 200 feet in bad weather his starboard wing hit the sea causing the aircraft to dis-integrate and plunge into the sea.
Letter of condolence from AOC Records confirming on 15Apr43 that nothing further had been heard.
My mother in law (George's sister ) has always told us that George should have been on leave at the time of his death but he had requested a later date so that he could be off at the same time as his step-brother Robert. We also have details of the Minute Book of the Council at Barrow in Furness Lancashire, George's home town granting permission for him to put the towns Coat of Arms on his aircraft, I wonder if this was requested by George as Barrow had recently had a number of bombing raids due to the Submarine and Ship building yards at Vickers.
Letter of consolation from the King to George's parents
Citation for George on the Runnymede Memorial.