09.05.1944 No. 598 Squadron Oxford I BG555 P/O. D.S. McGregor
Operation: Searchlight Co-operation
Date: 09th May 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 598 Squadron
Type: Oxford I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Skeabrae - on detachment from RAF Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
Location: East of Cava Island, Scapa Flow
Pilot: P/O. Donald Stuart McGregor NZ/401280 RNZAF Age 25. Missing - believed killed
Obs: Fl/Lt. William Oakley Helm 79909 RAFVR Age 35. Missing - believed killed
Ground crew member: AC1. Henry Ernest Haywood 653429 RAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Skeabrae on the Orkney Islands at about 23:30 hrs on a Searchlight Co-operation exercise when at 6,500 ft and during evasive action the aircraft entered a dive during which part of the port wing broke away. The aircraft crashed into the waters of Scapa Flow east of Cava Island at 23:50 hrs.
Post crash investigation thought that perhaps the pilot may have been totally blinded by the searchlights.
The pilot was a veteran fighter pilot who had served with 485 Squadron flying Spitfires as well as with 14 squadron in the Middle East flying Blenheim and Marauders. He had some 917 flying hours logged.
(Note: To avoid possible confusion, the ground crew member AC1. Henry Ernest Haywood was on board at the time of the accident)
P/O. Donald Stuart McGregor. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 263. Son of George Henry and Catherine McGregor, of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand and husband of Iena McGregor, of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Fl/Lt. William Oakley Helm. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 202. Son of William Livesey Helm and Edith Helm and husband of Evelyn Hilda Helm, of Shenfield, Essex, England.
AC1. Henry Ernest Haywood. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 243. Son of Ernest and Florence Haywood; husband of Charlotte Winifred Haywood, of Gateshead, Co. Durham, 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 Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: