07th December 1941 3 Squadron Hurricane IIC Z3916 P/O. McVay
Date: 07th December 1941 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron (motto: Tertius primus erit - 'The third shall be the first') 11 Group
Type: Hurricane IIC
Base: RAF Hudson, Hertfordshire
Location: Thornwood, Essex
Pilot: P/O. John Douglas McVay NZ/404913 RNZAF Age 28. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
On returning from a convoy patrol and encountering snow showers and thick cloud. The aircraft hit a tree and and dived into the ground at 18:10 hrs.
The enquiry held into the circumstanced felt it was the lack of night flying experience that contributed to the accident. He had been posted in from 55 Operational Training Unit with just 10 hours experience in night flying and of these only 2 on instruments.
Burial and personal details:
P/O. John Douglas McVay. Ware New Cemetery. Sec. 265. Grave 2. Born on the 10th November 1913 at Pahiatua. Worked as a design engineer for A.C. Clarke Ltd prior to service. Served with the territorial army for 3 years before joining the RNZAF at Levin on the 30th November 1940. Embarked for Canada on te 27th March 1941 for pilot training. Awarded his pilots badge on the 03rd July 1941 and promoted to sergeant. Awarded his commission on the 04th July 1941.Prior to joining 3 squadron on the 19th November 1941 carried out conversion training on the Hurricane with 55 Operational Training Unit. Son of Harry Douglas McVay and Gladys McVay (nee Boyd) and husband of Jessie JJean McVay (nee Burns), of 612 High Street, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 245 flying hours logged and had carried out 3 operational sorties.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and 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, other sources as quoted below: