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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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Coastal Command Crest
07.08.1943 1 Torpedo Training Unit Hampden TB.1 X3026 F/O. Johnstone

Operation: Formation Practice

Date: 07th August 1943 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 1 Torpedo Training Unit (17 Group) Coastal Command

Type: Hampden TB.I

Serial: X3026

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Turnberry, Ayrshire

Location: Mochrum Wood

Pilot: F/O. John Henry Wilcox Johnstone AUS/414043 RAAF Age 24. Killed

Obs: Fl/Sgt Eric Douglas Lee AUS/414413 RAAF Age 22. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Sydney Raymond Greer NZ/417208 RNZAF Age 33. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/O. Leslie Norman Buttimore NZ/417194 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.

Taking off at 14:55 hrs with two others to carry out formation flying over the sea. On completion of the exercise two landed with no problem however it seems that X3046 piloted by F/O. Johnstone decided to take on a little local flying prior to returning.

The weather had deteriorated with broken low cloud and rain. It seems that the pilot had turned to eastwards back to the sea but in the very poor visibility struck the hill at about 15:45 hrs amongst large pine trees - killing all the crew.

Burial details:

F/O. John Henry Wilcox Johnstone. Dunure Cemetery. Sec. E. (White) Grave 296. Born on the 09th May 1919 in Winton, the son of Robert Leonard Willox and Mignonette Johnstone, of 'Audreystone', Barcaldine, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "He Lives, He Wakes, 'Tis Death Is Dead, Not He".

Fl/Sgt Eric Douglas Lee. Dunure Cemetery. Sec. E. (White) Grave 273. Born on the 13th March 1921 in Brisbane, the son of Leonard George and Emily May Lee, of Valley, Queensland, Australia. Grave inscription reads: "Tup" Our Beloved Son".

Fl/Sgt. Sydney Raymond Greer. Dunure Cemetery. Sec. E. (White) Grave 276. Son of Gerald Randolph Greer and Olive Greer, of 23 Te Awe Street, Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 115 flying hours logged. It seems that his brother, 25 year old, F/O. Ashley James Greer was killed post war flying a Dominie CI in a mixed formation exercise on the 31st May 1948. His aircraft collided with an Anson with the Dominie diving out of control. All 3 crew lost their lives - blamed on the instructions provided to the pilot and to the inexperience of the pilot flying twin engined aircraft.

F/O. Leslie Norman Buttimore. Dunure Cemetery. Sec. E. (White) Grave 293. Born on the 05th June 1920 in Cambridge, the son of Edward John and Elsie May Buttimore, of Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 92 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 Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY - 12.12.2017

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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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