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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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RAF Crest
30.03.1943 No. 1622 AACU Flight Defiant TT.I DR919 Sgt. Gallie

Operation: Training

Date: 30th March 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 1622 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Flight

Type: Defiant TT.I

Serial: DR919

Code: 960

Base: RAF Gosport, Hampshire

Location: Chalk Lane, Pound Knapp, Lee-On-Solent

Pilot: Sgt. Rollo William Wesley Gallie NZ/416477 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

W/Op: AC 1. E. Tate RAFVR Injured - survived. No further information


Taking off at around 10:20 hrs on a target towing exercise with the Royal Navy. The exercise had concluded but on return to base the Defiant suffered engine failure and stalled at low altitude whilst attempting a forced landing.

The aircraft crashed and caught fire at Chalk Lane, Pound Knapp in Lee-On-Solent (now part of the Golf course) The pilot was killed but incredibly the winch operator, although injured, survived. The subsequent board of enquiry concluded that the fuel tap had inadvertently been turned off.

The family of Brenda Gilbert have looked after the grave of Rollo since 1945. They kindly supplied this photo taken at his crash site on Anzac day 2020.

Burial details:

Rollo William Wesley Gallie. Gosport Cemetery (Ann's Hill). Plot 188. Grave 70. Born on the 10th June 1918 at Auckland, the son of Charles Gallie and of Adelaide Gallie (née Neill), of Auckland City, New Zealand. Prior to service a clerk working for Nathan Company in Auckland. A total of 360 flying hours logged with several on the Defiant.

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”, Jenifer Lemaire, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 27.08.2019

KTY Photo added 13.11.2020

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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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