WIRELESS OPERATOR / AIR GUNNER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
17TH AUGUST 1940
O’ER THIS AIRMAN’S GRAVE,
A MOTHER’S LOVE LIES HERE
HIS WIDOWED MOTHER
Additonal information provided by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission:
Son of Alexander Patterson, and of Elspet Patterson, of New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire.
Sergeant James Patterson was a wireless operator / air gunner with the Royal Air Force, 102 Squadron. On 16 August 1940, he and four other crew – flying an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mark V, serial N1382 – were among 150 planes that took off from Royal Air Force Driffield in Yorkshire shortly after 8 p.m. The mission of N1382 was to bomb a Messerschmidt manufacturing facility near the city of Augsburg. Of the 150 Blenheims, Hampdens, Wellingtons and Whitleys that set off, 118 aircraft reported bombing successfully; seven aircraft, including N1382, were lost. The cause of N1382’s crash isn’t known, but it crashed near the summit of the Hochlichtspitze mountain in the Walser Valley west of Lech, near Vorarlberg, Austria.
All five crew were killed. They are buried in a collective grave at Klagenfurt War Cemetery, each commemorated with his own gravestone.
(Last updated 13 June 2023)