08/09.04.1940 No. 12 OTU Battle I P2273 P/O. M.E.F. Barnett
Date: 08/09. April 1940 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: No. 12 Operational Training Unit (6 Group)
Type: Fairey Battle I
Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire
Location: Ewelme, Oxfordshire
Pilot: P/O. Michael Edward Fulton Barnett 36235 RAF Age 18. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire at 23:10 to carry out circuits and landings.
The pilot climbed to 500-500 feet but swung to the right before losing height nd cashing with the aircraft catching fire when it hit the ground in Ewelme village. He was the youngest (declared) pilot within Bomber Command to lose his life during the war.
Born in London, England but educated in New Zealand where he also qualified as a pilot with the RNZAF before joining the RAF on a short service commission in 1939.
P/O. Michael Edward Fulton Barnett. Benson Churchyard Extension (St Helen). Grave Row C. Grave 6. Born on the 24th April 1921 in London England, the son of Dr. Geoffrey Michael Fulton Barnett and Flora Annie Barnett (née Chalmers), of 83 Stafford Street, Dunedin, New Zealand. He had one brother and three sisters. A total of 176 flying hours logged with 29 on the Battle. His older brother, W/Cdr. Denis Hensley Fulton Barnett 05167 RAF (shown right) was the Commanding Officer of No. 40 Squadron during 1940. He later went on to become Air Chief Marshal KBE. CBE. DFC. MiD. Born on the 11th February 1906 and passed away on the 31st December 1992 age 86.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Stephen Potts for grave photograph, other sources as quoted below: