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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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06th September 1942 21 OTU Wellington IC X9942 Sgt. O'Halloran

Operation: Night training

Date: 06th September 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 21 Operation Training Unit. 91 Group

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: X9942

Code: -

Base: Moreton-In-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Location: Sezincote, Gloucestershire

Pilot: Sgt. Charles Ambrose O'Halloran NZ/414666 RNZAF Age 26. Killed

Pilot: Sgt. Ernest Desmond Sale NZ/414682 RNZAF Age 20. Killed

Obs: Sgt. Donald Mcmurtie Gilmour R/79099 RCAF Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Frederick Carey 1192583 RAFVR Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Geoffrey Harcourt Bennett 998824 RAFVR Age 20. Killed


Taking off at 21:15 hrs on a night training exercise.

Started to make a turn whilst at 200 ft. But the aircraft stalled, hit a tree crashing and caught fire killing all the crew.

Burial and personal details:

Sgt. Charles Ambrose O'Halloran. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 22. Also remembered on parents grave at Hawksbury Cemetery, Waikouaiti. Born on the 30th October 1915 at Dunedin. Worked as a blacksmith striker for Rimu Gold Dredging Company of Rimu prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 11th August 1941. Initial training with No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 29th September 1941 then to No. 1 Flying Training School 08th November 1941. Pilots badge awarded on the 20th December 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 31st January 1942.

Embarked for England on the 20th February 1942. After serving with various units joined 21 Operational Training Unit on the 07th July 1942. Son of Ambrose Denis (died 02nd January 1064, age 82) and Marion Rose O'Halloran (née Fraser - died 23rd July 1970, age 88), of Waikouaiti, Otago, New Zealand. Just a week later his brother 23 year old, Sgt. William Peter O'Halloran NZ/41352 RNZAF also lost his life on the 14th September 1942 whilst with 1651 Heavy Conversion Training Unit Stirling I BF332, hit by flak, the only member of the crew killed the pilot managed to return to England. A total of 334 flying hours logged.

Sgt. Ernest Desmond Sale. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 26. Born on the 15th February 1922 in London, England. Family moved to New Zealand in 1923. Worked as a clerk for NZ Co-Op Distribution Company at Masterton prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the16th August 1941. Initial training with No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 28th September 1941 then to No. 2 Flying Training School 09th November 1941. Pilots badge awarded on the 05th January 1942 and promoted to sergeant on the 31st January 1942.

Embarked for England on the 22nd February 1942. After serving with various units joined 21 Operational Training Unit on the 07th July 1942. Son of Charles Henry and May Winifred Grace Sale (née Gammage, later Bracey), of Otaki, Wellington, New Zealand. A total of 250 flying hours logged

Sgt. Donald Mcmurtie Gilmour. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 17. Son of Williamand Maggie Gilmour, of Chateauguay Basin, Province of Quebec, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Until The Day Break And The Shadows Flee Away'.

Sgt. William Frederick Carey. Moreton-In-Marsh New Cemetery. Sec. K. Grave 31. Son of William Carey and of Edith Fredericka Irene Carey, of Elstead Surrey. Grave inscription: 'Till We Meet Again Rest In Peace. Love, Mother'.

Sgt. Geoffrey Harcourt Bennett. Wallasey (Rake Lane) Cemetery. Sec. 16.C. Grave 33. Son of Samuel Harcourt (died 17th December 1962, age 89) and Winifred Bennett, of Wallasey. Grave inscription: 'Our Beloved And Only Son. His Devotion Will Live For Ever In Our Memory'.

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, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 30-09-2021

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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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