01.05.1940 No. 102 Squadron Whitley V N1500 F/O. Gray DFC
Operation: Transit Flight
Date: 01st May 1940 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 102 Squadron 4 Group (motto: Tentate et Perficite - 'Attempt and achieve')
Type: Whitley V
Base: RAF Driffield - on detachment to RAF Kinloss, Morayshire
Location: Hill of Foundland, Insch, Aberdeen
Pilot: F/O. Kenneth Neil Gray DFC. 40342 RAF Age 25. Killed (1)
Pilot: Sgt. John Hamilton Hopper 518878 RAF Age 23. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Frederick John Bass 580902 RAF Age 19. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC1. Alfred William Henry Hart 632176 RAF Age 19. Killed
AC2. George Main 632772 RAF Age ? Injured (2)
AC1. Harold Buttery 650521 RAF Age 19. Killed
AC1. J.A. Hewitt RAF Age ? Injured
AC1. Fred Wallwork 743867 RAFVR Age 36. Injured (3)
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a transit flight at 10:59 hrs returning to RAF Driffield the aircraft strayed off course in extremely bad weather - crashed into the Northern slopes of the Hill of Foundland.
Prior to forming his own crew a Fl/Lt. Frank Long was trained by fellow New Zealander F/O. Kenneth Neil Gray 40342 RAF. He was awarded an immediate DFC along with F/O. Gray as on two occasions they skilfully managed to return their Whitley aircraft and crew despite severe icing and with one engine kept stopping they continued on their operation to Prague. The return trip totalled some eight hours. For further details on Fl/Lt. Long - see his page of remembrance.
Bomber Command lost several of their most experienced pilots in this early stage of the war.
AC1. J.A. Hewitt recovered and understood to have survived the war.
(1) F/O. Kenneth Gray was the twin brother of the top scoring New Zealand ace, Group Captain Colin Falkland Gray DSO. DFC and 2 bars NZ/41844. (shown right) He survived the war, passed away on the 01st August 1995, age 80. Additional details can be read here.
(2) AC2. George Main died of injuries on the 25th May 1940.
(3) AC1. Fred Wallwork died of injuries on the 06th May 1940.
F/O. Kenneth Neil Gray DFC. Dyce Old Churchyard. Grave 1. Born 09th November 1914 at Christchurch, the Son of Robert Leonard Gray and of Margaret Gray (née Langford), of Gisborne, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 712 flying hours logged and having completed some 7 operational sorties. There is no grave inscription for this New Zealand pilot and to understand why we suggest readers to take a look at 'Your Relative's CWGC Details Explained'.
Sgt. John Hamilton Hopper. Doncaster Cemetery (Rose Hill) Section J. Grave 936. Son of Frederick John and Grace Marie Hopper, of Hornsea, England.
Sgt. Frederick John Bass. East Finchley Cemetery and St. Marylebone Crematorium. Section U5. Grave 68. Son of Frederick George and Ellen Mary Bass. of Muswell Hill, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "I Remember Your Face As We Last Did Part It Cases The Ache Within My Heart".
AC1. Alfred William Henry Hart. Cockett Churchyard (St. Peter) Section SE.C. Grave 181. Son of Alfred George and Elsie Lilian Hart, of Richmond, Surrey, England.
AC2. George Main. Ayr Cemetery, Ayrshire. Section K. 1906. Grave 3901. No further details - are you able to assist?
AC1.Harold Buttery. Dyce Old Churchyard. Grave 3. Son of Richard and Mary Ellen Buttery, of Coventry, England. Grave inscription reads: "Till We Meet Again".
AC1. Fred Wallwork. Dyce Old Churchyard. Grave 2. Son of Fred and Martha Wallwork, of Manchester; England and husband of Jessie Wallwork.
Page dedicated to relatives of the crew. With thanks to Simon Muggleton for some details, 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: