Operation: Formation training
Date: 15th May 1941 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 2 Service Flying Training School (ITS)
Type: Oxford II
Base: RNZAF Woodbourne, New Zealand
Location: Cook Strait
Pilot: LAC. Alec Haigh NZ/41326 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed
Pilot: LAC. John Joseph Fox NZ/41320 RNZAF Age 23. Injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Collided with another of the SFTS Oxford II, NZ1276 while changing leader position at 14:55hrs, which dived steeply into the sea between White Bluffs and the Awatere River mouth, about 11 miles east south-east of Blenheim.
The floating wreckage was located shortly afterwards by an RNZAF launch which happened to be proceeding through Cook strait at the time. However, the body of the LAC Alec Haigh, the sole occupant was not recovered.
LAC John Joseph Fox force landed his Oxford II, NZ1246 on a beach. He survived but was injured.
Burial and personal details:
LAC. Alec Haigh. Wellington Provincial Memorial. Born on the 23rd December 1915 in Carterton. A metal worker instructor at Kowhai Intermediate School in Auckland. A RNZAF reserve pilot with Wairarapa and Ruahine aero club for 27 months. 1st solo on the 11th November 1937 and obtained 'A' licence on the 27th October 1938.
He was enlisted at Levin on the 19th of January 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 02nd March 1941. With No. 2 Flying Training School on the 12th April 1941.
Son of Arthur Moffatt (died 27th February 1959, age 73) and Ellen Elizabeth Haigh (née Robinson - died 26th January 1969, age 84), of Greytown, Wairarapa, New Zealand.
Later (killed on the 31st May 1942 whilst with 114 squadron:
P/O. John Joseph Fox. Sage War Cemetery. Grave 13.C.2. Born on the 25th March 1918 in Glasgow, Scotland. Educated at St. Patrick's School. A programme organiser for the National Broadcasting Service in Wellington. Served 3 years in the territorial army. Enlisted at Levin on the 19th of January 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 02nd March 1941. With No. 2 Flying Training School on the 12th April 1941.
Uninjured in a landing accident on the 29th of April 1941. Injured in a mid-air collision on the 15th of May 1941. The pilot badge was awarded on the 25th of May 1941 and commissioned on the 26th of July 1941. Embarked for England on the 14th of August 1941. With No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre on the 29th September 1941. Training on the Blenheim with 42 Operational Training Unit 28th October 1941. Joined 114 squadron on the 17th March 1942 and carried out 3 operational sorties.
Son of John Joseph (died 08th December 1953, age 65) and Alexandrina Kerr Fox (née Archibald - died 15th July 1980), of Wellington City, New Zealand; husband of Mary Patricia Fox (née Pound and father os 1 son), of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Above. L-R: Rear; Porter, Gray, Fergusson, Partridge, Wilson, Haigh, McKenzie, McGill-Nutt.
3rd row; Meares, Regnault, Palliser, Kissel, Russell, Sullivan, Jenner, Creed, Fox, Saville, Grofski, Bugg, Worsley, Rickerby,
2nd row; Corby, Jacobson, Malone, Hooker, Clayton, Scollay, Ross, Taylor, Baines, Kibble, Haase, Robinson, Mitchell, Jameson.
Front; Watkins, Evans, Shrimpton, Turner, Picton, Round, Grevatt, Conibear, Pavish, Thurston, Sharland, Gawith, Randall. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot. 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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