14th July 1943 59 OTU Hurricane I P3475 Fl/Sgt. Humphrey
Date: 14th July 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 59 Operational Training Unit. 9 Group
Type: Hurricane I
Base: RAF Millfield, Northumberland
Location: Church Farm Cottages, Elwick
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Charles Ivan Humphrey NZ/421056 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off on a training exercise when at 09:55 hrs collided with another of the units Hurricane. The young New Zealand pilot was killed.
The other aircraft Hurricane V7173 flown by Sgt. Ronald James Currie J/21861 RCAF managed to land safely with no injuries.
Sadly he was killed on the 18th August the following year. He was flying a Typhoon Ib MN623 with 184 squadron when it is thought he was hit by flak. His aircraft was seen streaming glycol and attempting to reach allied lines. He could not maintain height and crashed south wast of Turn in France. His aircraft burst into flames on impact.
Above L-R: Fl/Sgt. Charles Humphrey and Sgt. Ronald Currie
Burial and personal details:
Fl/Sgt. Charles Ivan Humphrey. Kirknewton Churchyard (St Gregory). Grave 10. Born on the 29th November 1921 at Timaru.A student teacher prior to service. Enlisted on the 08th February 1942 at Levin. Trained in NewZealand. Awarded his pilots badge on the 02nd September 1942 and promoted to sergeant on the 28th November 1942. Arrived in England on the 13th February 1943. After training at 17 Advanced Flying Unit joined 59 Operational Training Unit on the 08th June 1943. Son of Blanche Harriet Humphrey, ward of Alice Bosworth Bennewith (later Boorer) of Timaru, South Island, New Zealand. A total of 290 flying hours logged with 26 on the Hurricane.
Sgt. Ronald James Currie. Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. Grave XVII. B. 10. A bank clerk prior to service. Awarded his pilots badge on the 18th December 1942. Son of the late Arthur Victor and Gladys Annie Currie (nee Wickwire). Husband of Margaret Merriam Morse Beutel of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Joined 184 squadron from 59 Operational Training Unit on the 27th January 1944.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: