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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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4 EFTS Tiger Moth II NZ673 P/O. Athol Foster

Operation: Training

Date: 30th July 1941 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School

Type: Tiger Moth II

Serial: NZ673

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Whenuapai, New Zealand

Location: Riverheadi, New Zealand

Pilot (Inst): P/O. Athol Foster NZ/40967 RNZAF Age 25. Killed

Pilot (U/T): LAC. Keith Millen Mcculloch NZ/413544 Age 18. Killed


History of aircraft:

Previously T5771. Built at Cowley, UK and assembled in NZ. Shipped to New Zealand on "Opawa" and BOC Unit 18 Rongotai 06 November 1940.

The aircraft was seen to be at a low altitude recovering from a dive at 08:25 hrs. As it lost height the aircraft rolled over on its back. When the aircraft was almost vertical crashed into a gully on a farm, owned by Mr. J,C. Lloyd at Riverhead

Burial and other personal details:

P/O. Athol Foster. Purewa Public Cemetery. Block E, Row 39, Grave 18. Born on the 28th May 1916 in Auckland. Educated at Kings College and Auckland University College. Went to Singapore in 1938, returning to New Zealand in late 1939. A journalist for Straits Times in Singapore. Enlisted at Levin on the 09th April 1940 as a pilot under training. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 06th May 1940. Then to No. 2 Flying Training School 01st July 1940. Pilot badge awarded on the 23rd August 1940 and commissioned on the 26th October 1940. Flying Instructors School 16th November 1940. With No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School as an instructor on the 30th December 1940. Son of Harry Percy Rae Foster (died 20th September 1929, age 58) and Janet Grierson Foster (née Maclndoe - died 22nd November 1959), of 5 Westbourne road, Remuera, Auckland City, New Zealand.

LAC. Keith Millen Mcculloch. Otahuhu Anglican Cemetery Memorial Park (Holy Trinity). Block E. Plot 186. Born on the 08th February 1923 on Otahuhu. Educated at Auckland Grammer and then with Auckland University College. A student teacher for Auckland Education Board. Served in territorial army for 9 months. Enlisted in Levin on the 15th June 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School 12th July 1941. Son of Robert Millen McCulloch, and of Doris Emily McCulloch (nee Wells), of Mount Wellington highway, Otahuhu, Auckland, 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”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 02-05-2022

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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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