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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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27th July 1943 7 BGS Bolingbroke IVT 9944 WO.11 Russel David Mathers

Operation: Training

Date: 27th July 1943 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 7 Bomber and Gunnery School. 2 Training Command

Type: Bolingbroke IVT (Canadian-built training Blenheim)

Serial: 9944

Code: -

Base: RCAF Paulson, Manitoba, Canada

Location: See map

Pilot: W/O. II. Russel David Mathers R/100588 RCAF Age 24. Killed

Air/Bmr. (Inst): P/O. Richard Donald Esselmont J/25347 RCAF Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr. (U/T): LAC. Paul Arthur Trudel R/172077 RCAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Bmr. (U/T): LAC. Neil Macmillan Glenday NZ/425896 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


Taking off from RCAF Paulson on an air gunnery practice. Then flying level at 3000 ft when their aircraft flicked over to the right and dived vertically into the ground at 06:20 hrs. killing all the crew.

It was thought that control of the aircraft was lost when the pilot attempted to change seats with the air bomber instructor, who had failed to obtain his licence and was anxious to fly.

Burial and personal details:

W/O. II. Russel David Mathers. Stayner Cemetery. Grave 2287. Born on the 19th May 1919 in Stayner, Ontario, Canada. Worked as an undertaker prior to service. Employed initially as a flying instructor but made a pilot in the RCAF on the 19th of August 1941. Became a staff pilot with No. 5 Bomber and Gunnery School on the 10th of September 1942. No. 7 Bomber and Gunnery School on the 25th of February 1943. Son of John (died 1958, age 67) and Pearl Mathers (née Hewson - died 1980, age 89), of Stayner, Ontario, Canada.

P/O. Richard Donald Esselmont. Kamloops Cemetery (Pleasant Street). Lot 1. Plot 11. Block P. North Section. Son of Robert John (died 13th October 1961, age 71) and Armentice Angaline Esselmont (née Jenkins - died 18th March 1924, age 29). Later his father married Barbara Jean Esselmont (née Herbert - who died on 11th March 2004, in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada.

LAC. Paul Arthur Trudel. Victoria Burial Park (Royal Oak). Sec. D. Plot 21. Grave 18. Son of Isaie Giles Trudel and Bernetta Evelyn Trudel, of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

LAC. Neil Macmillan Glenday. Dauphin Cemetery (Riverside). Lot N. Sec. 7. Block 6. Born on the 20th of January 1920 in Motunau. Educated at Timaru Boys High School. A shepherd for D.M Robertson on the Glentanner Station. Enlisted on the 30th of May 1942 as an aircraft hand at Nelson and later with Initial Training Wing on the 12th of October 1942. Re-mustered as a pilot under training on the 15th of October 1942. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 28th of November 1942. Embarked for Canada on the 12th of February 1943. With No. 10 Service Flying Training School on the 20th March 1043. Pilot training was terminated on the 26th of April 1943 and re-mustered as an air bomber under training on the 30th of April 1943. With No. 7 Bomber and Gunnery School on the 12th June 1943 crewing on the Bollingbroke.

Son of David Glenday (died 26th November 1959) and of Sarah Martin Glenday (née Smith - died 16th November 1955), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. His brother, Lindsay David Glenday, died on 16th September 1943 (less than two months later) while flying with 15 squadron. Details here. Epitaph: 'So Loved So Mourned'.

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

KTY 11-10-2022

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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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