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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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RAF Bomber Command Crest
24.07.1940 No. 12 Operational Training Unit Battle I L5482 Mid Mortimer

Operation: Training

Date: 24th July 1940 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 12 Operational Training Unit

Type: Fairey Battle I

Serial: L5482

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


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.

Burial details:

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.

KTY - 27.01.2018

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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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