24.07.1940 No. 12 Operational Training Unit Battle I L5482 Mid Mortimer
Date: 24th July 1940 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 12 Operational Training Unit
Type: Fairey Battle I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire
Location: North Stoke
Pilot: Mid. (A) Charles George Mortimer Royal Navy Age 18. Killed (RAF Equivalent Sgt)
Obs: Sgt. Eric Purdy Wood 755876 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Vivian Everitt 654354 RAF Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off for a low-level navigation exercise.
During the flight the Fairey Battle struck high tension cables and crashed at around 12:50 hrs near North Stoke - killing all three crew members.
There are many websites and publications honouring aircrew lost during battles, not many reflect the huge number of casualties incurred during training. We are trying to address this and welcome any other losses researched by others.
The pilot, 18 year old Midshipman Charles Mortimer was on detachment from HMS Daedalus which was Royal Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent, one of the primary shore airfields of the Fleet Air Arm. It is understood that he was the only Navy pilot to lose his life within a Bomber Command Operational Training Unit.
Any further information on the loss or details of the crew would be welcome - full credits placed to contributors.
Mid. (A) Charles George Mortimer. St. Pancras Cemetery. Sector 3Y. Grave 8. Son of Charles George and Ellen Charlotte Mortimer, of Westminster, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "Always In The Thoughts Of His Mother And Sisters".
Obs: Sgt. Eric Purdy Wood. Conisbrough Cemetery. Sector I. Grave 53. Son of Fred and Rose Wood, of Conisbrough, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "And So, Dear Son You Are Across The Border Beyond The Ache And Fear Of This World". The family elected to place a private memorial, as well as the CWWG headstone at his burial site, inscribed: "To Have Known Him, Was To Love Him".
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Maurice Vivian Everitt. Benson Churchyard Extension (St. Helen). Row D. Grave 7. Son of Harry Everitt and of Maud Yvonne Everitt (née Sotain), grandson of Mr. E. Sotain, of Islington, London, England. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Of Our Dear Boy".
Researched for Alan Downing who contacted us in January 2018 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to sources indicated below. Also to Alan Downing, Iain MacFarlaine and Stephen Potts for grave photographs.