Date: 22nd January 1942 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 2 Service Flying Training School
Type: Harvard II
Base: RNZAF Woodbourne
Location: Cape Campbell
Pilot: LAC. Donald Hugh McKenzie NZ/414650 RNZAF Age 20. Missing - believed killed
Pilot: LAC. Jack Trevor Villers NZ/412412 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 07:00 hrs on a training flight from Woodburne to Lake Grassmere.
Last seen whilst at 1500 ft. leaving the airfield. At around 08:00 hrs a witness at Cape Campbell heard an engine roar and an explosion in the direction of the sea.
The father of the pilot, John Robert Hugh Mckenzie offered a reward of £3,000 for delivery alive of either of the crew or 1,000 for the discovery of the wreckage. Apart from a Harvard seat cushion washed up on a beach 10 days later, no other sign of the crew or wreckage was ever found.
LAC. Donald Hugh McKenzie. Canterbury Provincial Memorial. Born on the 18th August 1921 at Wellington. A clerk for the Bank of New Zealand prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 17th August 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 28th September 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 20th December 1941. Son of John Robert Hugh (died 05th August 1955) and Annie May McKenzie (née Wrigley - they married on the 24th July 1918 - died 1956), brother of Roy, of Courtnay, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Note: John McKenzie built up one of New Zealand's most successful retailing organisations. In spite of his success in business, however, he believed that the true value of life lay in service to others. In support of this belief, he became perhaps the country's most generous private benefactor. While in the course of an extensive trip with his wife, he died at London on 26 August 1955; Annie McKenzie died at Christchurch in 1956. McKenzie had been made a KBE in 1950 for his contribution to public welfare. In 1954 a group of businessmen commissioned a painting of him by the distinguished portraitist Edward Halliday; it was later presented to the National Art Gallery. The Riccarton homestead was donated to the Department of Education in 1970 and now houses the McKenzie Residential School.
LAC. Jack Trevor Villers. Wellington Provincial Memorial. Born on the 17th August 1916 at Wanganui. Worked as a hardware salesman for C.A. Wilkinson Limited, Eltham, Taranak. enlisted at New Plymouth as an aircraft hand. Remustered as a pilot under training on the 18th August 1941. With No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 27th September 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 05th January 1942. Son of William John Sydney (died 04th June 1949, age 64) and Alice (née O'Connor - died 12th September 1972, age 83) Villers, of Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand.
L-R: Rear; JP Franklin, Edward Roy Markland NZ/414656 killed 18th February 1943, Lindsay David Hutton NZ/41173 killed 16th November 1943, Robert Henry Blyth NZ/414581 Died 14th November 1981, Fraser Dudley Clark NZ414590 killed 22 August 1943, Eric Bayly Withell NZ414713 killed 18th January 1943, Raymond Herbert John Broady NZ39691 killed 28 November 1942.
Third row; Bernard Alexander Gumbley NZ/414614 killed 21st March 1945, H.R. Harrop, Sydney Alcock NZ39979 killed 25th June 1942, D.B. Chamberlain, James Gilbert Duffill NZ414604 killed 17th January 1943, Jack Trevor Villers NZ/412412 killed 21st January 1942, Thomas Wyllie NZ414718 killed 27th September 1944, George Ivan Ellis NZ414269 killed 20 April 1943.
Second row; William Alexander Irwin NZ/414632 killed 24th June 1944, John William Thomas Nelson NZ/414663 killed 23rd January 1942, T.W.O. Fox, Donald Hugh McKenzie NZ414650 killed 21 January 1942, R.F. Hancock, Michael Acton Sullivan NZ414697 killed 20 December 1943, F. Simpson, Wilfred Edward Bolton Turner NZ/414360 killed 15 December 1943,
Front; Edward Desmond Sale NZ414682 killed 06th September 1942, William J.J. Warwick NZ/414706 , J.M. Paynter, Arthur Frederick Tucker NZ414703 died 17 April 2015, David Oliphant Stewart NZ/413901 killed 20 August 1944, R.T. Johnston, L.H.F. Brown, J. Bains, Ian John Land NZ414306 killed 07th December 1942.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with 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:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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