31.05.1942 No. 112 Squadron Kittyhawk I AK999 P/O. S.S. Mitchell
Date: 31st May 1942 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 112 Squadron (239 Wing, 211 Group)
Type: Kittyhawk I
Base: RAF Gambut
Location: Derna, Libya
Pilot: P/O. Stuart Stewart Mitchell NZ/41348 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a strafing and bombing run after taking off at 18:45 hrs he failed to return.
Later, when the allied forces advanced the pilot was found to be buried beside his destroyed aircraft near Derna in Libya.
Sadly a post war search failed to locate his grave - possibly as it had been effected by sand storm, consequently he is now remembered on the Alamein memorial.
P/O. Stuart Stewart Mitchell. Alamein Memorial. Column 265. Son of Alexander Stewart Mitchell and Margaret Ethelinda Mitchell, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 234 flying hours logged - his slightly older brother 21 year old P/O. John Stewart Mitchell NZ/41607 RNZAF had been killed earlier on the 02nd March in the France campaign whilst with No. 1 Squadron. Further details here.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand also to Jenifer Lemaire from New Zealand for photograph, other sources as quoted below:
Image of the pilot reproduced under licence: Auckland Library Heritage Collection : 28 October 1942 AWNS19421028-18-37