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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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RAF Crest
02.12.1942 No. 18 PATU Oxford II V3581 Sgt. Irwin

Operation: Training

Date: 02nd December 1942 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 18 Pilots Advanced Training Unit (23 Group)

Type: Oxford II

Serial: V3581

Code: -

Base: RAF Church Lawford, Warwickshire

Location: North of airfield

Pilot: Sgt. William Francis Irwin NZ/416497 RNZAF Age 24. Injured

REASON FOR LOSS:

Taking off at around 2110 hrs on a solo night circuit and landing practice exercise.

20 minutes later crashed through a hedge some 400 yards north of the airfield whilst carrying out an overshoot. The pilot was removed from the wreckage and taken to the hospital in Rugby. After 3 days he was then transferred to the All Saints Emergency Hospital at Bromsgrove. Sadly despite the intensive care he received, succumbed to his injuries on Friday the 18th December 1942.

Burial details:Sgt. William Francis Irwin. Wythall Churchyard (St. Mary) Row 21. Grave 5R. Son of John Coote Irwin and Emily Irwin, of Rakaia, Canterbury, New Zealand. 242 flying hours logged.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Julian Tansell for grave photograph, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25.10.2018

Acknowledgements: 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', 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: 19 March 2021, 19:26

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