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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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RAF Abingdon Crest
20/21.07.1941 No. 10 OTU Whitley V N1527 P/O.Gray

Operation: Training

Date: 20/21st July 1941 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 10 Operational Training Unit (6 Group)

Type: Whitley V

Serial: N1527

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Abingdon, Berkshire

Location: Marcham, South of airfield

Pilot: P/O. Peter Maxwell Gray NZ/403444 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

Pilot: P/O. Harry Gordon Compton Fooks NZ/40966 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Roy Harley 964594 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Kenneth Lunn 1169553 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Albert Edward Williams 934369 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


Taking part in night take off and landings practice when at 01:30 hrs the Whitley struck some trees and crashed, killing all 5 crew members.

The brother of P/O. Looks was also sadly killed. On the 07th January 1944 32 year old, F/O. Ernest Berjeu Fooks 146328 RAFVR flying 180 Squadron Mitchell FR396 collided in the air with another Mitchel FL682 from 98 Squadron. All eight crew from both aircraft were killed.

Burial details:

P/O. Peter Maxwell Gray. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.E.7. Son of Thomas and Ety Violet Gray, of Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 164 flying hours logged.

P/O. Harry Gordon Compton Fooks. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.F.7. Born on the 02nd July 1918, the son of Alfred Augustus Fooks, and of Adele Catherine Fooks, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 198 flying hours logged.

Sgt. Roy Harley. Nottingham Southern Cemetery. Sec. Q.28. Grave 92. Son of Frank and Edith Harley, of West Bridgford, Nottingham, England.

Sgt. Kenneth Lunn. Reading Cemetery (Henley Road). Block 8. Grave 13665. Son of Clifford Rudkin Lunn and Maria Lunn, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Grave inscription reads: "Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends".

Sgt. Albert Edward Williams. Tottenham Cemetery. Gen. Sec. Grave 1 0362. Son of Alfred John and Edith Williams of Tottenham, England.

F/O. Ernest Berjeu Fooks. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.E.7. Son of Alfred Augustus Fooks, and of Adele Catherine Fooks, of Flat 17, Belvedere Maisonettes, Salisbury Street, Christchurch, New Zealand. A total of 518 flying hours logged, of these 222 solo on the Mitchell. Had flown on 29 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 - 06.06.2018

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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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