Date: 27th January 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 2 Service Flying Training School
Type: Harvard II
Base: RNZAF Woodbourne, New Zealand
Location: Delta Landing Ground
Pilot: P/O. Louis Joseph Norfolk Gumbley NZ/421704 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
PX: Cpl. Eric Courtney Bell NZ/421300 RNZAF Age 22. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a night flying test they collided with a tree during low flying and crashed close to the Delta Landing Ground at 19:55 hrs.
Both crew killed. Cpl. Bell had recently transferred from the army and was engaged in defence duties prior to commencing aircrew training.
P/O. Louis Joseph Norfolk Gumbley. Aramoho Cemetery. Grave Q.2.56. Born on the 03rd December 1921 in Wanganui. Educated at Wanganui Technical School. A shop assistant for London Town Enterprises Ltd at Wanganui. Enlisted at Rotorua on the 07th March 1942. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 03rd May 1942. With No. 2 Flying Training School 25th July 1943. Pilot badge was awarded on the 19th of October 1942. Commissioned on the 19th December 1942.With No. 1 Service Flying Training School as staff pilot 18th January 1943. With No. 2 Service Flying Training School as staff pilot 21st January 1943. A total of 166 solo flying hours logged with 126 on the Harvard.
Son of Charles Norfolk Gumbley (died 0th March 1973, age 83), and of Ethel Mary Gumbley (née Cooksley- (died 19th October 1980), of Wanganui, New Zealand.
Cpl. Eric Courtney Bell. Aramoho Cemetery. Grave Q.2.57. Born on the 22nd of August 1921 in Wanganui. Educated at Wanganui Technical School. A clerk for New Zealand Railways. Served 1 year in the territorial army. Enlisted at Woodbourne 24th October as an aircraft hand but then for aircrew training.
Son of James Courtney Bell (died 13th May 1964, age 71), and of Isabella Alice Bell (née Comrie - died 27th May 1963, age 73), of Wanganui, New Zealand
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot 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:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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