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  • Christina Drummond

Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf VC, 62 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1941, Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf V.C., of 62 Squadron R.A.F., died at Alor Star in Malaya.

He joined the R.A.F in 1936 and on gaining his wings was posted to No.9 Squadron. In 1937 he transferred to No.62 Squadron, a light bomber unit based in northern Malaya. From July of 1941 he was based at Alor Star near the border with Thailand, where his wife worked as a nurse. At the outbreak of hostilities in December of 1941, the squadron came under heavy air attack and Mrs. Scarf was among those evacuated. On the day of his death all available aircraft had been ordered to make a daylight raid on Singora in southern Thailand, where the Japanese Army was invading. Squadron Leader Scarf, as leader of the raid, had just taken off from the base at Butterworth in Penang when enemy aircraft swooped in and destroyed or disabled the remaining aircraft. His was therefore the only plane to fly to Singora. Despite coming under attack, he managed to complete the bombing run but on his return came under attack again and was severely wounded, his left arm shattered and a large hole in his back. He drifted in and out of consciousness but managed to crash-land his aircraft at Alor Star without causing any injury to his crew. He was rushed to hospital but died from his injuries. The story of his heroism was not known until after the war, so his posthumous Victoria Cross, now displayed at the R.A.F. Museum in London, was not awarded until 1946.

Arthur, from Wimbledon, was 28 years old and married with a baby on the way.

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