Operation: Night training flight
Date: 18th January 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 784 Squadron. Fleet Air Arm
Type: Fulmar I
Base: Drem, East Lothian - HMS Merlin
Pilot: Sub/Lt. (A) Douglas Phillip Hurlstone Boniface RNZNVR Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking part on his first solo night training flight.
It seems that he mistook RAF East Fortune for RAF Drew and flew into trees at 18:39 hrs. The young New Zealand pilot was killed.
Buried on the 22nd January 1942 at location shown.
Sub/Lt. (A) Douglas Phillip Hurlstone Boniface. Dirleton Cemetery. Sec. E. Grave 1041. Born on the 05th January 1921 at Feilding. Worked as a fireman for Palmerston North Fire Brigade prior to service. Enlisted in the RNZN on the 01st October 1941. Embarked for England on the 05th May 1941, arriving on the 16th June 1941. Embarked for Canada for pilot training on the 11th October 1941. Pilot badge awarded and commissioned on the 28th February 1942. Joined 784 squadron for night fighter course on the 06th December 1943. Son of George Edward Boniface, and of Ethel Fanny Boniface (née Keyes), of Feilding, Wellington, New Zealand.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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