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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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17/18th August 1942 3 Squadron Hurricane IIB Z5257 P/O. Hay

Operation: Reconnaissance night patrol

Date: 17/18th August 1942 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 3 Squadron (motto: Tertius primus erit - 'The third shall be the first'). 11 Group

Type: Hurricane IIB

Serial: Z5257

Code: -

Base: \RAF Hunsden, Hertfordshire

Location: English Channel

Pilot: P/O. Bruce Hamilton Hay DFC. NZ/41511 RNZAF Age 28. Killed


Taking off at 00:50 hrs on a reconnaissance night patrol of the French coast. The aircraft failed to return, the only loss from the squadron on this operation.

His body was washed ashore on the 28th August 1942 at Newhaven and buried at Hawkinge,

DFC Citation, July 1942:

'P/O. Bruce Hamilton Hay completed a large number of operational sorties and intruder operations over enemy territory. He has destroyed four enemy aircraft, probably five, and damaged two others. A valuable pilot and an inspiration to his colleagues, cool and skilful, he possesses marked courage and devotion to duty'.

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Bruce Hamilton Hay DFC. Hawkinge Cemetery. Plot O. Row 2. Grave 63. Also remembered on the Takapuna War Memorial and Takapuna Grammar School War Memorial. Born on the 04 August 1914 at Wellington. Educated at the Vauxhall Primary School and the Takapuna Grammar School. Worked as an accounts clerk for James Hardie Limited of Auckland prior to service. Served in the territorial army for 3 years prior to enlisting in the RNZAF at Levin on the 19th January 1941. Trained at No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School commencing 02nd March 1941. Then to No. 1 Flying Training School on the 13th April 1941. Awarded pilots badge on the 09th June 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 05th July 1941. Embarked for England on the 22nd July 1941 and attached to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre on the 02nd September 1941. Joined 59 Operational Training Unit on the 08th September 1941 for training on the Hurricane. Involved in a flying accident on the 27th September 1941 but not thought to be injured. Joined 3 squadron on the 28th October 1941. Awarded commission on the 28th April 1942. Spent a period in hospital I(No details) 20th May - 21st June 1942. Son of Harold James Hay (died 1930, age 44) and Blanche Alma Hay (nee Powell - died 11th December 1955, age 70), of Remuera, Auckland City, New Zealand.

Above: Course 11D, No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School, Whenuapai. 02nd March 1941.

L-R: Rear; Jack Inskip NZ/41332 - killed 10 September 1942, Frederick Charles Hackett NZ/41325 - killed 12 November 1941, Richard Percival William Barker NZ/41464 - killed 22 December 1941, G. Dunn, Geoffrey Ernest Dale NZ/41314 - killed 1 October 1942, Carlyle Gray Everiss NZ/41318, Lawrence Heaton Baxter NZ/41300 - killed 17 April 1943, RJ Hill.

Middle; Henry James Moore Jensen NZ/41480 - died 13 March 2008, John Trevor Vivian Gill NZ/403362 - killed 4 September 1942, Eric Lindsay Gray NZ/41322 - died 23 February 1983, Bruce Hamilton Hay NZ/41511 - killed 18 August 1942, A.C Crocombe, Henry William Manfred Downard NZ/41315 - killed 18 December 1942 , Robert Walter Coddington NZ/41310 died 1 October 2007.

Front; Charles Croall, Francis Max McKenzie NZ/41344 - killed 23 June 1943, Selwyn Latta NZ/41339 - killed 9 April 1943, A.H Beale, Kenneth Oscar Law NZ/41340, J.R Hall, Donald Stuart Leighton NZ391054 - died 24 March 2014.

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, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 26-09-2021

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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', 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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Last Modified: 26 September 2021, 10:51

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