60 Operational Training Unit Defiant I N1705 Sgt. Thomas Lawrence
Operation: Formation Flight / Training
Date: 08th February 1942 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 60 Operational Training Unit (Fighter Command)
Type: Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I
Base: RAF East Fortune, Scotland
Location: Near Kingston Farm, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
Pilot: Sgt Thomas Lawrence 1259147 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt Andrew Lawrie NZ/403607 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Defiant I N1705 - took off piloted by Sgt T Lawrence, RAF, but shortly afterwards the weather deteriorated. Later the pilot reported over the r/t that he had 'hit something' while flying in cloud.
Although a wing was badly damaged he indicated he could still maintain some control over the aircraft. However, on approach to base at 13:00 control was lost and the Defiant rolled at low altitude, crashed and caught fire near North Berwick, 3 and a half miles north of East Fortune.
Sgt Thomas Lawrence. Saint Martin's Cemetery East Lothian, Scotland. Sec. E. Grave 900. Son of George William died 15th May 1992, age 79) and Emily Florence Lawrence (née Holmes - died 18th March 1997, age 80).
Sgt Andrew Lawrie. Saint Martin's Cemetery East Lothian, Scotland. Sec. E. Grave 903. Born on the 11th April 1920 in Crietf, Scotland. Served 2 years in the territorial army. Enlisted at Levin on the 29th September 1940. Embarked for Canada on the 05th November 1940. Air gunner badge awarded on the 01st September 1940 and promoted to sergeant. Embarked for England on the 22nd September 1941. Son of John and Jessie Lawrie (née Boswell), of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. He had 53 flying hours at the time of his death.
Research carried out by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - July 2016. With thanks to Gourdongirl for grave photographs, Pete Hampton for funeral photographs and David Haire for the portrait photo of Sgt. Lawrie.