12.05.1943 No. 22 OTU Wellington X HE218 W/O I. Kerby
Operation: Night Cross Country Training
Date: 12th May 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 22 OTU (Operational Training Unit)
Type: Wellington X
Base: RAF Wellesbourne Mountford
Location: Compton Verney Lakes, Staffordshire
Pilot: W/O.I ‘Stewart’ Michael Joseph Stuart Kerby R/82326 RCAF Age 28. Killed
Pilot 2: W/O.II Donald Emil Elliot R/79270 RCAF Age 25. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jacob Piket R/120847 RCAF Age 31. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joseph Harrington Collett R/76749 RCAF Age 29. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a night cross country exercise and on the return trip to the OTU base at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford one of the engines cut and at approximately 01.00 hrs the aircraft dived into ground close to the Compton Verney Lakes, Staffordshire. The Wellington caught fire on impact with all the crew killed.
W/O.I Michael Kerby had previously served in the Far East with 108 squadron. During his service there he survived a crash on the 16th November 1942 flying a Wellington IC HX380 during a bombing operation. All the crew survived - captured, imprisoned but later escaping.
His co-pilot, 22 year old Fl/Lt. Hugh Baker 116391 RAFVR (from Kellitts, Jamaica) was later missing on an operation on the 30th July 1944, whilst with 97 Squadron. Lancaster III NE121 OF-E during an operation to Cabagnes in the Normandy battle area. 6 crew killed, 3 made PoW.
W/O.1 Michael Joseph Stuart Kerby. Stratford-On-Avon Cemetery. Grave 4174. Son of Michael Kerby and Mary - Minnie Gertrude Kerby (née Stewart), of Ivanhoe, Ontario, Canada. Further information: One of 7 children - born on the 12th April 1915. Worked in a hardware store in Madoc, Ontario. Trained in Trenton, Ontario, Canada, later based at Camp Boden in Barrie, Ontario. He had completed his tour of operations and was due to return to Canada after his period of training new pilots with No. 22 Operational Training Unit.
W/O.II Donald Emil Elliot. Stratford-On-Avon Cemetery. Grave 4197. Son of Roland Reed Elliot and Statia Anna Elliot, of St. Lambert, Province of Quebec, Canada, husband of Phyllis H. Elliot (née Martin).
Sgt. Jacob Piket. Stratford-On-Avon Cemetery. Grave 4196. Son of Dirk and Maaike Piket, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Sgt. Joseph Harrington Collett. Stratford-On-Avon Cemetery. Grave 4173. Son of Joseph Harrington Spedding Collett and Frances Gertrude Collett, husband of Stella Elizabeth Collett, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Brock Kerby - nephew of the pilot W/O.I Michael Kerby, David Champion for photographs and information - March 2016.