Green, Alexander William Valentine (No. 78082)

Green, Alexander William Valentine (Peter)

Pilot Officer

No. 78082, 235 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action on Wednesday 11 September 1940 (aged 21)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 8)

Battle of Britain Memorial in Westminster Abbey

Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church, Craigavad

Annals of Helen’s Bay Presbyterian Church

Campbell College Belfast

BIOGRAPHY

Alexander William Valentine Green (known as Peter) was born on 14 February 1919 in the townland of Ballymacateer, Moira and he was a son of Alexander and Marjory Green (nee Watson) who were married on 5 March 1918 in Magheralin Parish Church of Ireland Church.  Alexander Green, a Lieutenant in the 16th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles from Belfast, was a son of William Green, a gentleman.  Marjory Watson from Beech Park, Lurgan was a daughter of Hugh Watson, a gentleman.

In civilian life Alexander Green was a linen manufacturer and the Green family lived in Belfast, in Windsor Park and Cherryvalley Park, and then in Seamount, Craigavad, Holywood.

Alexander William Valentine (Peter) Green attended Campbell College from 1932 until 1937 and then the De Haviland Aeronautical School in Hatfield.

During the Second World War Peter Green served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in Coastal Command and he died on 11 September 1940.  He was one of a three-man crew aboard a Bristol Blenheim Mark IV aircraft (L9396) which took off at 3.55 pm from RAF Thorney Island in Sussex and their mission was to escort Fleet Air Arm Fairey Albacore aircraft raiding Calais.  Their aircraft was shot down at 5.30 pm and crashed into the sea.  None of the bodies was recovered and they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.  The others who died were:

  • Pilot Officer Peter Claude Wickings-Smith (aged 22) from Bedford, Bedfordshire
  • Sergeant Reginald Douglas Haig Watts (aged 35) from Far Cotton, Northamptonshire

Pilot Officer Alexander William Valentine Green’s effects in England amounted to some £108 and probate was granted to his father.  There was a short tribute in the December 1940 edition of The Campbellian:

‘We regret to announce the death of Peter Green. Apparently, the bomber of which he was navigator was shot down in action and all the crew killed. Its occupants had, before this, managed to bring down a German bomber. Peter, from his earliest youth, displayed a keen interest in aviation. On leaving school he became a student in the de Havilland Technical School. Rejected as a pilot for physical reasons, he qualified as a navigator. Since the beginning of the War, when on leave, he never neglected a chance of visiting the school. We shall miss him very much’.

Pilot Officer Alexander William Valentine (Peter) Green (No. 78082) was 21 when he died and he is commemorated on the Battle of Britain Memorial in Westminster Abbey; in Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church, Craigavad; in the annals of Helen’s Bay Presbyterian Church and in Campbell College Belfast.