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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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2 EFTS Tiger Moth II NZ666 P/O. Brian Charles Levet

Operation: Training

Date: 28th October 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School

Type: Tiger Moth II

Serial: NZ666

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Ashburton

Location: Racecourse Hill

Pilot (Inst): P/O. Brian Charles Levet NZ/425265 RNZAF Age 23. Killed

Pilot (U/T): LAC. Graham Alexander Gunn NZ/433751 RNZAF Age 20. Seriously injured


Aircraft history: Tiger Moth NZ666 (c/no. 83470): Previously RAF Tiger Moth T5761. Built at Cowley, UK and shipped to New Zealand on the 05th July 1940 on the SS Rangitikei and on charge by the RNZAF at Unit 18 Rongotai 08th October 1940. With No. 4 EFTS, Whenuapai 1941. With No. 2 EFTS Ashburton from August 1943.

Whilst on a duel cross country exercise NZ666 spun off a steep low altitude over the pilot's home and crashed at Racecourse Hill between Darfield and Waddington at 11:00 hrs. The instructor was killed in the crash and the seriously injured pupil pilot died of his injuries three days layer at Christchurch Public Hospital

Burial details:

P/O. Brian Charles Levet. Auckland Cemetery (Waikumete). Prot. Soldiers Area D, Row 2A, Grave 29. Born on the 31st Match 1920 in Auckland. Educated at the Gladstone Road and Mount Albert Grammar Schools. Furniture salesman for Smith and Brown Limited of Auckland. Served 3 months in territorial army before enlisting at Waipapakauri as aircraft hand on the 30th May 1942. Re-mustered as a pilot under training on 26th November 1942. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 06th February 1943. No. 2 Service Flying Training School on the 03rd April 1943. Pilot badge awarded on the 07th June 1943 and commissioned on the 31st July 1943. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School as flying instructor on the 18th October 1943. A total of 235 flying hours logged with 149 on the Tiger Moth.

The son of Harold Reginald (died 26th January 1973, age 81) and Irene Gladys Levet (née Potter - died 11th February 1969, age 77), of 3, Seaview Terrace, Mount Albert, Auckland City, New Zealand. Husband of Olive Forgie Levet (née Ludgate - died 1982, age 64) of 14, Ngake Street, Orakei, New Zealand.

LAC. Graham Alexander Gunn. Kimberley Cemetery, Selwyn District. Grave 138.S.B. Born on the 15th July 1923 in Christchurch. Educated at St. Andrews College in Christchurch. A farm hand on his fathers farm at Darfield. A member of Darfield Gliding Club. Served 14 months in territorial army prior to enlisting at Aashburton as aircraft hand on the 01st April 1943. Re-mustered as a pilot under training on the 16th September 1943. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 18th September 1943

Son of Robert Sutherland Gunn (died 13th March 1974, age 88), and of Myra Cecilia Gunn (née Jarman - died 01st February 1984, age 87), of Darfield, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew, thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 16-09-2022

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