Flying Officer James (Jimmie) Harper Greig Horne was the eldest son of Peter Bathie and Bessie Crichton Horne, 18 Breadalbane Terrace, Perth. James who was 23 years old at the time of his death. James was brought up in Laurencekirk being adopted by his uncle and aunt, Mr David Stewart Dakers and Mrs Eliza Dakers. He was educated at Laurencekirk School and MacKie Academy, Stonehaven, and was employed by the North of Scotland Bank in the branch at Auchinblae for four years before joining the RAF. He was secretary of the Laurencekirk Golf Club and took a keen interest in all local sports. On joining the Services, he went to the US and Canada for training as a navigator.
Flying from RAF Wick, Bristol Beaufighter LZ289 of RCAF 404 (Buffalo) Squadron crashed during a fighter affiliation training exercise near Stemster House, south of Scrabster. On the morning of 17 November 1943, the Beaufighter was observed by a Spitfire from the AFDU (Air Fighter Development Unit) to go into a spin to the right at approximately 5,000 feet. It failed to recover and stuck the ground between a farmhouse and a barn.
The two occupants of LZ289:
Flying Officer Norman Earl Long RCAF (J/20615) Pilot, age 23
Flying Officer James Harper Greig Horne RAFVR (132715) Navigator, age 23
Horne is buried at Laurencekirk Main Cemetery. The funeral was attended by the largest cortege seen in the burgh for years. His coffin was carried to the graveside by men of the Home Guard and was proceeded by a piper playing, ‘The Flowers of the Forest’. A party of the ATC formed a guard of honour at the cemetery gate. Flying Officer Long from Toronto was buried at Wick Cemetery.
RCAF 404 Squadron was formed at RAF Thorney Island on 15 April 1941 as a Coastal Command long-range fighter unit. Flying out RAF Castletown, Skitten, Dyce & Sumburgh, they provided cover for convoys, flew shipping reconnaissance missions, and sometimes intercepted Focke-Wulf FW 200 Condor aircraft flying out of Norway. After a spell at RAF Chivenor in North Devon, they returned to Scotland in April 1943, operating from RAF Tain and RAF Wick.
Long had over 400 hours flying time and about 85 hours on Beaufighters. The inquiry faulted his handling of the aircraft. The pilot of the Spitfire involved was a Flight Lieutenant Virgin from the AFDU Squadron. The AFDU developed operational tactics and tested captured enemy aircraft. The unit carried out tests and evaluations on fighter aircraft, modifications, and new equipment prior to it being used by the RAF.
Flying Officer James Harper Greig Horne, Perthshire Advertiser 20 November 1943
Flying Officer James Harper Greig Horne receiving his navigator’s “Wing” at an RAF training Centre in Canada. Perthshire Advertiser 28 November 1942
AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, 1939-1945: BRISTOL TYPE 156 BEAUFIGHTER. (HU 93032) Beaufighter Mark X, LZ114, taking off from from the Bristol Company’s aerodrome at Old Mixon near Weston-super-Mare for an engine test, carrying a Mark XII aerial torpedo. LZ114 was later flown operationally by No. 211 Squadron RAF, with whom it went missing during an attack on bridges in Burma on 13 January 1944. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205127134