23rd February 1942 41 OTU Magister I T9884 P/O. Bright
Date: 23rd February 1942 (Monday)
Unit: No. 41 Operational Training Unit. 70 Group
Type: Magister I
Base: RAF Old Sarum, Wiltshire
Location: Wincanton, Somerset
Pilot: P/O. Ernest William Bright NZ/412651 RNZAF Age 25. Killed
Pilot: P/O. David George West NZ/412772 RNZAF Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a training exercise they dived towards the ground, pulled up sharply and the aircraft stalled and spun into the ground at 10:45 hrs. Both New Zealand pilots lost their life.
41 Operational Training Unit formed from the Training Squadron of No 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum on the 20th September 1941 within No 70 Group to train tactical reconnaissance pilots using Lysanders and Tomahawks.
P/O. Ernest William Bright. Salisbury Cemetery (London Road). Sec. M. Grave 202. Born on the 16th February 1916 at Gisborne. A clerk prior to service. Enlisted 03rd May 1941 at Levin. Son of Harold Ernest Bright and of Flora Bright (née Read Bloomfield), of Wainui Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. 192 flying hours logged
P/O. David George West. Salisbury Cemetery (London Road). Sec. M. Grave 203. Born on the 22nd December 1918 at Palmerston North. A draughtsman for L.G West and Sons, architects. Enlisted at Levin on the 04th May 1941 Son of Ernst Vilhelm West and Carrie West (née Buick), of Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand. 399 flying hours logged. His brother, Sq/Ldr. Peter Wynn Mason West, DFC. also died on service. On the 04th July 1942 whilst with 61 Squadron piloting Lancaster I R5488 lost on a 'Gardening' operation off the Danish coast.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew 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, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: