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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.
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42 OTU Oxford I R6271 F/O. Archibald Douglas Vincent Forsyth

Operation: Air test

Date: 21st May 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No. 42 Operational Training Unit. 70 Group. Army Co-Operation Command

Type: Oxford I

Serial: R6271

Code: -

Base: RAF Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Location: Manifold Way, Waterhouses

Pilot: F/O. Archibald Douglas Vincent Forsyth NZ/403957 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


Cpl. Harry Garnet Sylvester 1157864 RAFVR Age? Killed

LAC. Harry Charles Halestrap 1521896 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off at about 16:00 hrs but crashed and caught fire 10 minutes later after striking cable across a valley at Waterhouses, 7 miles NW of Ashbourne. The pilot and two passengers were killed.

Burial details:

Above: Airmans Memorial - St Edward's Church Leek, Staffordshire.

F/O. Archibald Douglas Vincent Forsyth. Ashbourne Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 356. Born on the 21st November 1919 in Gisbourne. Educated at the Wairoa District High School. Worked as an exchange clerk for Post and Telegraph Department. Enlisted at Levin on the 26th October 1940. Trained at No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 23rd November 1940 and No. 2 Flying Training School on the 18th January 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 03rd March 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 12th April 1941. Joined 115 squadron on the 08th September 1941 and completed 9 operational sorties. Posted to Malta as a flying instructor on special duties carrying out 8 operational sorties. Joined 42 Operational Training Unit on the 09th August 1942 as an instructor. Commissioned on the 28th September 1943. A total of 769 flying hours logged.

Son of Archibald William Forsyth (died 09th September 1954, age 86) and of Irene Nora Forsyth (née O'Donoghue - died 09th July 1974. age 84), of Frasertown, Auckland, New Zealand.

Cpl. Harry Garnet Sylvester. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 24.C.18. Husband of Ethel Margaret nee Mills of 44, The Drove, Andover, England.

LAC. Harry Charles Halestrap. Bishp's Storford Old Cemetery. Section G. Gen Grave 9. Son of Edith Halestrap, of Bishop's Stortford, England. Epitaph: 'God, In His Mercy Thought It Best To Take Him To Eternal Rest'.

Above as described L-R: Rear; G. Chapman, Clive Herbert Mulholland, W.K Wilby, M.D McCarthy, Ian Arnaud Burgess, James Brian Munro, C.H Fox, Archibald Douglas Vincent Forsyth.

Centre; C.S Dent, Ralph Holland Tye, R.S Sim, H.C McAffer, Alexander Cairns Anderson, K.M Musker, WJ MacLeod, James Keith Ward, P.S.G Thornton, Richard James Clarke.

Front; Arthur Haig O'Brien, Noel Ernest Robertson Carrel, Stephen Delancy Watts, A.St.A Murray, Arnold George Browne B.N Murdoch, M.E Nairn, D.J Pyman, L.C Shepherd, E.E Pedersen, I.L Walton. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, New Zealand Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, National Archive.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding accident losses

Pages detailing New Zealand losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 19-09-2023

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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.
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