AR banner
Search Tips Advanced Search
Back to Top

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Check our Research databases: Database List


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the Helpdesk.

122 Squadron Crest
24.01.1943 No. 122 Squadron Spitfire IX BS109 W/O. Earwaker

Operation: Training

Date: 24th January 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 122 Squadron. 11 Group (motto: Victuri volamus - 'We fly to conquer')

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: BS109

Code: MT-?

Base: RAF Hornchurch, Essex

Location: North Chelmsford, Essex

Pilot: W/O. Samuel David Earwaker NZ/404345 RNZAF Age 26. Killed


Taking off at around 15:45 hrs on a training exercise.

25 minutes later dived from around 30,000 fr then entered a spin at 5,000 ft from which he failed to recover. The aircraft dived into the ground north of Chelmsford.

Investigators concluded that inadequate instructions had been provided to the pilot on the use of oxygen. The bayonet fixing joining his mask to the economiser and had not been securely connected and had become detached.

We understand that some of the wreckage had been recovered and the Merlin is now on display at the RNZAF Wigram Airforce Museum, Christchurch.

Burial details:

W/O. Samuel David Earwaker. Hornchurch Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 1362. Born on the 25th December 1916 at Christchurch, the son of William Samuel and Lily Harris Earwaker (née Moore), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Husband of Phylis Seyer Earwaker (née Washer, later Spence). Prior to service worked for T.H. Green and Company at Christchurch as a Clerk. A total of 574 flying hours logged with 62 of these on the Spitfire and having completed 2 operational sorties.

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 War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25.08.2019

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack
RAAF Bomb Aimer Evades with Maquis •  SOE Heroine Nancy Wake •  Fane: Motor Racing PRU Legend
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site
If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2023
Last Modified: 25 March 2021, 18:10

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor