Raymond Jack Cross
|Raymond Jack Cross|
|Died||3 May 1943 (aged 24–25)|
|Education||Boston Grammar School (1932-1934); Wakefield Police School (1937)|
|Employer||The Boston Electrical Company (1934-1937); Lincolnshire Constabulary; Royal Air Force (1941-1943) - Bomber Command 207 Squadron|
Raymond Jack Cross was born in 1918. His family were millers.
His father was a Police Inspector in Scunthorpe where Raymond began his schooling. The family moved to Donington and then to 48 Tower Road Boston. Raymond entered Boston Grammar School in 1932. He left in 1934 to take up employment with The Boston Electrical Company but left in 1937 to go to Wakefield Police School for training at the completion of which he joined the Lincolnshire Constabulary at Cleethorpes, then Skegness and, later, Billinghay.
He joined the Royal Air Force in October, 1941 and was sent to navigation schools in the USA and Canada before returning to Lincolnshire in January, 1943 to fly with Bomber Command 207 Squadron RAF Lancaster. He made twenty operational flights before taking part in a fateful raid in May 1943 during the German occupation of France. On the night of 3rd May as preparation for the Normandy invasion (Operation Overlord) 346 Avro Lancasters and 14 de Havilland Mosquitoes took off to attack the German military camp of Mailly-le-Camp in North East France. At 21:15 hours one of those aircraft with 1451670 Flight Sergeant R J Cross as navigator left Spilsby Airfield. Mission accomplished, the aircraft was homeward bound when it was intercepted and shot down by a German Luftwaffe fighter and crashed near Dontilly|. 42 of the 346 Lancasters did not return that one night.
Raymond was buried in Dontilly Communal Cemetery. The words on his gravestone read:
Theirs was the air
Ours is the earthBecause of them