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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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RNZAF
2 OTU (NZ) Harvard IIA NZ1035 Sgt. Charles Roderick Gray

Operation: Training

Date: 04th August 1945 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 2 Operational Training Unit

Type: Harvard IIA

Serial: NZ1035

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Ohakea

Location: Parewanui, New Zealand

Pilot: Sgt. Charles Roderick Gray NZ/4313159 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

Pilot: Sgt. Warren Selwyn Sharpe NZ/4310378 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

During air-air practice attacks on a diving pass at 09:30 hrs the port wing of NZ1035 struck the tail of NZ1048.

The tail of NZ1048 disintegrated and the aircraft spiralled into the ground at Mr Dalrymple's farm at Parewanui where it burst into flames. With part of its port wing sheered off NZ1035 entered a shallow spiral recovering momentarily but then flicked over and crashed about 1,000 yards away on the same property - both the young New Zealand pilots killed.

Burial and personal details:

Sgt. Charles Roderick Gray. Palmerston North Cemetery (Kelvin Grove). Grave 20.8.H. Born on the 20th Oct 1924 in Christchurch. Educated at St. George's School, Wanganui, and Wanganui Collegiate School. Worked as a farm hand on his father's farm 'Glenwai', in Pongaroa. Enlisted on the 06th October 1943 at Delta as an aircraft hand. Remustered as a pilot under training on the 26th of May 1944. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 27th May 1944. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 19th August 1944. With No. 1 Service Flying Training School on the 30th September 1944.

The pilot badge was awarded on the 09th March 1945 and promoted to sergeant on the 11th March 1945. To Woodbourne on an NCO course on the 20th March 1945. With Overseas Training Pool on the 16th April 1945. With Mediterranean Wing on the 26th May 1945. 2 Operational Training Unit 21st July 1945 for training on the P-40. A total of 128 flying hours were logged with 85 on the Harvard. Son of Douglas Wanklyn Gray (died 25th February 1970, age 73) and Emma Millicent Gray (née Hall - died 03rd November 1973, age 76), of Hororata, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sgt. Warren Selwyn Sharpe. Otahuhu Public Cemetery. Grave B. 16.7. Born on the 19th May 1925 in Stratford. Educated at Auckland Grammar School. A labourer for Auckland Municipal Abattoirs in Westfield. Enlisted at Harewood as aircraft hand on the 12th August 1943. Remustered as a pilot under training on the 26th of May 1944. No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 27th May 1844. No. 1 Service Flying Training School on the 30th September 1944.

The pilot badge was awarded on 08th March 1945 and promoted to sergeant on the 11th March 1945. To Woodbourne on an NCO course on the 20th March 1945. With Overseas Training Pool on the 16th April 1945. With Mediterranean Wing on the 26th May 1945. 2 Operational Training Unit 21st July 1945 for training on the P-40. A total of 148 flying hours logged with 93 on the Harvard. Son of Herbert Francis Sharpe (died 21st February 1980, age 85), and of Muriel Sharpe (née Sanderson - died 01st January 1973, age 75), of 44 Clevedon Road, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.

Above L-R: rear; K.J Ashcroft, P.G Ashmore, R.S Bastion, R.S Botherway, S.L Brace, J.P Brien, G.D Campbell.
Centre; H.R Cattell, D.J Cotton, V.A Davey, J.B Muir, L. Dickenson, D.W Davidson, S.F Gibson.
Front; A.I Gillies, N.B Grant, C.R Gray, R.T Gudgeon, E.A Hagen, F.M.H Henderson. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Peter Sharpe, Jenna Gray, 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 09-07-2022

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Acknowledgements
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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