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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 crest
2 SFTS Harvard II NZ989 LAC. Brian Cecil Heaps

Operation: Training

Date: 22nd March 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 2 Service Flying Training School (ATS)

Type: Harvard II

Serial: NZ989

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Woodbourne

Location: Mountains - west of Kekerengu

Pilot: LAC. Brian Cecil Heaps NZ/415413 RNZAF Age 21. Killed


During a solo flying practice, he was tail change another one of the schools Harvard at 15:15 hrs up the Dee River valley.

During a right-hand turn to leave the valley his aircraft stalled and crashed into a hillside and caught fire. The young pilot was killed but due to the dense bush and obvious transport difficulties, he was buried at the scene.

The other Harvard, NZ977 flown by LAC. Jack Voss was also unable to climb out of the valley and forced landed in some trees. The pilot although uninjured was not able to be rescued for three days by musterers. (a person who rounds up livestock). He survived the war as a Flying Officer - see below for further details.

Burial and personal details:

LAC. Brian Cecil Heaps. Canterbury Provincial Memorial. Born on the 20th November 1920 in Christchurch. Educated at Christchurch Boys High School. A law clerk for Messr Dougall and Son and Hutchison in Christchurch. Served 3 years in the territorial army (1st Battalion Canterbury Regiment).

He was enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on the 30th of September 1941. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School on the 08th November 1941. With No. 1 Service Flying Training School 20TH December 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 07th February 1942. With No. 2 Service Flying Training School flying the Harvard on the 07th March 1942. A total of 109 solo flying hours were logged with 79 on the Harvard.

Son of Arthur Moore (Died 1967, age 83) and Guinevere Eileen Heaps (née Martin later Thompson - died 21st October 1967, age 78), of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Above L-R: Rear; Gunther, Bunt, Condon, Brown, Eddy, Pheloung, Southward, Stowell, Marshal, Stevenson.

Centre; Gorton, Brown, Lawson, MacFarlane, Carmichael, Scott, Stuart, Turner, Martyn, Nelson.

Front; Halliburton, Jackson, Heaps, Rodgers, Price, Salt, Piper, Whitworth. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

The other pilot:

LAC. Jack Clarence Voss MiD. NZ/415391. Born on the 02nd January 1922 in Palmerston North. Enlisted on the 28th of September 1941. On the 17th of January 1945, he was transferred to the RNZAF Reserve and returned to his family business Auld and Voss in Palmerston North. According to his widow Joan, he suffered back problems directly related to the crash in the Kaikoura Ranges. Died at the Palmerston North Hospital on the 27th November 1981 at the young age of 59, and was cremated on the 30th November 1981.

MiD Citation:

'16 Squadron RNZAF (Kittyhawk) In recognition of distinguished service and devotion to duty - W/O. Voss proved himself a capable fighter pilot and a sound sub-section leader. He shot down one enemy dive-bomber which was attacking Allied shipping. In order to reach the enemy aircraft, he dived through the protective curtain of anti-aircraft fire with a complete disregard for his own safety. Served three tours in the South and South West Pacific Areas - one with 16 Squadron and two with 20 Squadron RNZAF (Corsair)'.

Above L-R: Rear; Fowler, Haynes, Beazer, W.D Walker, McIlraith, Newey, Nicol, Salt, Boyes, Hickinbotham, Harrison, Transom.

Third Row; A.R Walker, Irwin, McPherson, Harvey, Brabin, Veint, Norman, Morgan, Kennedy, Harding, Beresford, Thomas.

Second Row; Turvey, Bourke, Stevenson, Burton, Voss, Cook, Lawson, Darton, Henry, Focerty, Thornley, V. Smith.

Front; Worsp, Chaffe, Chattock, Archibald, Moore, Butt. (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, Air Museum of New Zealand, Wings Over New Zealand Museum, Hollie - the Adventurous Kiwi for her extensive wreck site photographs (used with full permissions), other sources as quoted below:

KTY 04-08-2022

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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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