23.09.1939 No 1 SFTS Harvard I P5791 Mid. Casey
Operation: Formation flying
Date: 23rd September 1939 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 1 Service Flying Training School (23 Group)
Type: Harvard I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Netheravon, Wiltshire
Location: Collingbourne Kingston, Wiltshire
Pilot U/T: Midshipman (Air) John Clutha Casey Royal Navy (FAA) Age 21. Killed (HMS Pembroke)
Pilot U/T: AC.1 William Roderick Walter Phillips 534924 RAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a formation flying practice two aircraft collided. Harvard P5792 flown by 19 year old Midshipman (Air) Roger Malcolm Brennen Kettle (HMS Pembroke) hit P5791 with both aircraft coming down at Collingbourne Kingston in Wiltshire. Sadly, all three crew lost their lives.
Midshipman Casey was the first New Zealand member of the Fleet Air Arm to lose his life in WW2.
Above as described courtesy Nick Brookes, relative of the pilot.
Midshipman (Air) John Clutha Casey. Netheravon Churchyard (All Saints). Son of John and Florence Casey, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
AC.1 William Roderick Walter Phillips. Liskeard Churchyard (St. Martin) Sec. N. Grave 14. Son of William and Ernestine Phillips, of Addington, Liskeard, Cornwall, England. Grave inscription reads: "While He Rests In Peaceful Sleep His Memory We'll Always Keep. Mum, Dad And Walter".
Midshipman (Air) Roger Malcolm Brennen Kettle. Netheravon Churchyard (All Saints). Son of Ernest Albert and Beatrice Eliza Kettle, of Tiverton, Devon, England.
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, other sources as quoted below: