Sergeant Joseph MacCrae Chambers was the son of Dr Walter Duncanson Chambers and Eva Annabella Chambers, Murray House, Perth. Dr Chambers was well known as the superintendent of James Murray’s Royal Asylum in Perth.
Sergeant Chambers completed his training with RAF 56 OTU at RAF Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire, England at the age of 19. He was a former pupil of Hurst Grange Preparatory School, Stirling, Edinburgh Academy, and Trinity College, Glenalmond. At Glenalmond, he was a crack rifle shot and was in the team that won the public schools’ trophy – the Ashburton Shield at the National Rifle Association at Bisley Camp, Brookwood, Woking in Surrey. He joined the RAF in October 1939.
Chambers had just finished a course on Hawker Hurricanes when he was killed in a flying accident – 25 February 1941. No information is available regarding the aircraft type or how the accident occurred. There are unconfirmed records that it was possibly a Hawker Hurricane he was flying and that it crashed near Wiggenghall St Mary Magdelen, just south of King’s Lynn and RAF Sutton Bridge.
Chambers is remembered on a plaque on the wall in the dedicated Air Force Memorial Chapel of St Matthew’s Church in Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, and is buried in St Mathews Church, Sutton Bridge.
Between January and September 1941, there were 11 incidents at RAF Sutton Bridge involving aircraft from RAF 56 OTU with one pilot killed (Chambers not recorded). During an air raid on 12 May 1941, one was destroyed, and another 6 others were severely damaged.