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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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Fighter Command Crest
60 Operational Training Unit Defiant I N1705 Sgt. Thomas Lawrence

Operation: Formation Flight / Training

Date: 08th February 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 60 Operational Training Unit (Fighter Command)

Type: Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I

Serial: N1705

Code: AT-

Base: RAF East Fortune, Scotland

Location: Near Kingston Farm, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Pilot: Sgt Thomas Lawrence 1259147 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt Andrew Lawrie NZ/403607 RNZAF Age 21. Killed


Defiant I N1705 - took off piloted by Sgt T Lawrence, RAF, but shortly afterwards the weather deteriorated. Later the pilot reported over the r/t that he had 'hit something' while flying in cloud.

Although a wing was badly damaged he indicated he could still maintain some control over the aircraft. However, on approach to base at 13:00 control was lost and the Defiant rolled at low altitude, crashed and caught fire near North Berwick, 3 and a half miles north of East Fortune.

Burial details:

Sgt Thomas Lawrence. Saint Martin's Cemetery East Lothian, Scotland. Sec. E. Grave 900. Son of George William died 15th May 1992, age 79) and Emily Florence Lawrence (née Holmes - died 18th March 1997, age 80).

Sgt Andrew Lawrie. Saint Martin's Cemetery East Lothian, Scotland. Sec. E. Grave 903. Born on the 11th April 1920 in Crietf, Scotland. Served 2 years in the territorial army. Enlisted at Levin on the 29th September 1940. Embarked for Canada on the 05th November 1940. Air gunner badge awarded on the 01st September 1940 and promoted to sergeant. Embarked for England on the 22nd September 1941. Son of John and Jessie Lawrie (née Boswell), of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. He had 53 flying hours at the time of his death.

Research carried out by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - July 2016. With thanks to Gourdongirl for grave photographs, Pete Hampton for funeral photographs and David Haire for the portrait photo of Sgt. Lawrie.

MB - 26.07.2016

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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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