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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
19.10.1941 No. 61 OTU Spitfire I X4544 Sgt. Law

Operation: Training

Date: 19th October 1941 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 61 Operational Training Unit. 81 Group

Type: Spitfire I

Serial: X4544

Code: Not issued

Base: RAF Heston, Middlesex

Location: Slyfield Green, Surrey

Pilot: Sgt. Donald Newsham Law NZ/404382 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

During training which involved forced landing approach and slow rolls he executed a loop at between 2000 - 2500 ft. he was seen to bank steeply left and the levelled out. He then went into a dive and crashed at high speed at 11:40hrs.

The aircraft did not catch fire on impact but the young New Zealand pilot was killed instantly. It is thought that he may have hit his head rendering him unconscious during the aerobatic manoeuvres.

Burial details:

Sgt. Donald Newsham Law. Hounslow Cemetery. Plot D Row D. Grave 3. Born on the 26th May 1918 at Gisborne, the son of Albert John and Ivy Juanita Law (née Curtis), of Cambridge, Auckland, New Zealand. A bank officer at the New South Wales Bank prior to service. A total of 213 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, other sources as quoted below:

Note: Comprehensive information can be found on the great website of Dave Homewood "Wings Over Cambridge".

KTY 15.08.2019

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: 15 March 2021, 20:57

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