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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
30.08.1941 No. 5 OTU Beaufort I N1160 F/0. Little

Operation: Training

Date: 30th August 1941 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 5 Operational Training Unit. 19 Group. Coastal Command

Type: Beaufort I

Serial: N1160

Code: Not known

Base: RAF Chivenor, Devon

Location: Bristol Channel off Saunton Sands

Pilot: F/O. Kenneth Treloar Little AUS/400149 RAAF Age 24. Killed

Obs: P/O. David Giffin Doole NZ/403833 RNZAF Age 29. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Douglas Robert Reader 1261741 RAFVR Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Francis Philip Pilkington 1283171 RAFVR Age 19. Killed


During a low level attack on tower target the Beaufort sideslipped after making a turn at 15:35 hrs.

The aircraft, out of control, then crashed into the channel about half a mile off Saunton Sands. At first they were all classified as missing, believed killed but 3 bodies were later recovered.

The investigation into the accident noted that it was an extremely bright day and difficult to judge the height from the water in certain conditions.

Burial details:

F/O. Kenneth Treloar Little. Heanton Punchardon (St. Augustine) Churchyard. Row K Grave 15. Born on the 12th November 1916 at Camberwell, Victoria, the son of Edgar T. Little and Fanny W. Little, of Camberwell, Victoria, Australia. A merchant by trade prior to service. Grave inscription: "Greatly Loved".

P/O. David Giffin Doole. Heanton Punchardon (St. Augustine) Churchyard. Row L Grave 13. Born on the 14th April 1912 at Frasertown, the son of Dennis Giffin Doole and Mary Jane Doole (nee Charters), of Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. A teacher at Hawkes Bay Education Board prior to service.(See below)

Sgt. Douglas Robert Reader. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 51. Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Reader, of Gillingham, Kent, England.

Sgt. Francis Philip Pilkington. Rainham Churchyard (St. Margaret). Grave 417. Son of Alfred Robert and Edith Rachel Pilkington, of Rainham, Gillingham, Kent, England. Grave inscription: "The Memory Of The Past Will Stay".

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, National Archives of Australia, other sources as quoted below:

Special additional information on P/O. David Giffin Doole by Sonia Edwards researching all who lost their lives from the Bay Of Plenty area of New Zealand

David Giffin Doole (1912-1941) was born 14 April 1912 at Frasertown, inland from Wairoa on Hawke’s Bay. He was the son of David Giffin Doole (1882-1951) and Mary Jane “Minnie” Doole (nee Charters 1881-1944) who were married in 1910. They had several children: John (1911) David Giffin (1912) Robert Charters (1913), Mary (1915) and John 1916. Robert worked on a farm in Hastings and joined 2 New Zealand Expeditionary Force as an infantryman (#46847) but David joined the Air Force.

David attended Napier Boys’ High School, where he was in the First VX. Leaving Victoria University College in Wellington, he went to Christchurch Teachers’ College where he was a representative rugby player. He returned to Hawkes Bay to teach but must have been a student teacher at the little school at Motu between Gisborne and Opotiki, where he is remembered on the Roll of Honour.

The Auckland Star carried a profile of this airman which had been sent by the news agent from Hastings, following a posting in the newspaper the day before announcing his death. NZ403833 Pilot Officer was killed in an air accident in England.

“Pilot Officer David Giffin Doole who is reported killed as a result of an aircraft accident in England, was 29 years of age and was educated at Napier Boys’ High School, Christchurch Teachers’ Training College, and Canterbury University. He was a teacher under the Hawke’s Bay Education Board before leaving New Zealand early last December to undergo training as a navigator under the Empire Training Scheme in Canada. He was granted a commission at the end of his training and left Canada in the middle of June for England.”

David Doole was in the Army Territorials but chose to enlist in the Air Force when he volunteered for service in World War Two. He began his training at Levin Training School as an Airman Pilot under training, 26 October 1940. He re-mustered as an Air Observer under training 23 November 1940. Sailing to Canada aboard the Aorangi 5 December 1940, NZ403833 Doole was soon at London in Ontario. Here he was attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force with 4 Air Observers’ Training School. By March he was with 4 Bombing and Gunnery School at Fingal in Ontario. He was awarded his Air Observer’s Badge and appointed Sergeant 26 April 1941. He moved again, this time to Rivers, in Manitoba, where he was at the Air Navigator’s School. Doole was commissioned 27 May, before travelling to M Depot in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to await acceptance by the RAF. Transportation to the United Kingdom was available 18 June 1941. He presented himself at 3 Personnel Reception Centre one month later. From here Pilot Officer Doole was attached to the Operational Training Unit in the Beaufort section 21 July 1941 with Coastal Command. The Bristol Beaufort was a twin engine torpedo bomber.

Sources: Image Auckland Weekly News 24 September 1941 - Auckland Star Volume LXXII Issue 213 9 September 1941 - Martyn Errol W. For Your Tomorrow Volplane Press Christchurch 2008 Vol 1 p 140 - Ibid Volume 3 p 169

KTY 12.09.2019

KTY / SE 10-06-2021 Additional information on P/O. Doole

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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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