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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J Graham


James Graham, from Harthill, Rotherham, was born in 1921, the son of Mr and Mrs R Graham of Blairmains Farm.

He joined the RAF in October 1938 as an Aircrafthand. He later remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner and after completing his training he joined 236 Squadron on 1st September 1940.

Graham was serving with 7 Squadron at Oakington in 1941. In June he was rear gunner of a Stirling which was attacked by two fighters twenty miles west of Texel. They came in simultaneously from the port and starboard quarters. During the action, Graham's reflector sight stopped working and two of his guns jammed. Despite continuous attacks he repaired his sight, cleared his stoppages and then shot down one of the enemy fighters into the sea.

For this action he was awarded the DFM (gazetted 4th July 1941).

Graham was commissioned on 19th February 1942. He was killed on 26th June 1942 when Stirling I W7442 'B' of 1651 Conversion Unit was shot down by a night fighter during a raid to Bremen.

Also lost were:

P/O AJ Kenny
F/Lt. WM Livingston
P/O LA Booth
P/O FL Flynn
Sgt. R Coates
Sgt. W Bennett.

The Stirling came down in the Waddenzee off Holland. Coates, Kenny and Livingstone lie in Harlingen Cemetery.

Graham is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 69.



Above: no award of a second DFM can be traced, however it cannot be awarded posthumously so may have been cancelled if still in progress when he was killed.



Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


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