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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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23 Squadron Crest
25.09.1940 No. 23 Squadron Blenheim If L8369 YP-B P/O. Eric Orgias

Operation: Night patrol

Date:25th September 1940 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 23 Squadron (12 Group)

Type: Blenheim IF

Serial: L8369

Code: YP-B

Base: RAF Middle Wallop (On detachment from RAF Ford, Sussex)

Location: Broughton, Hampshire

Pilot: P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAF Age 25 Killed

Obs: Sgt. Laurence Robert Karasek 581460 RAF Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC2. Reginald Irving Payne 1052320 RAFVR Age 31. Killed


With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.

Taking off from RAF Middle Wallop at 20:45 hrs the pilot reported that the port engine had failed and his intention to return to Middle Wallop. On the approach, with flaps and undercarriage lowered, the aircraft stalled and crashed at Broughton, south of the airfield at 21:10 hrs. All three crew members were killed.

The post-crash report said:

'From the trail of evidence on the ground - namely a battered cylinder, then a frayed steel cable, and finally the crashed engine with these items missing - we came to the conclusion that for some reason the bolts holding the top cylinder of the radial Mercury engine had become lose. Then the pounding of the piston in the loose cylinder eventually broke the steel cable at the front of the motor allowing the huge top and bottom cowlings to open out suddenly forming an overpowering brake on one side of the aircraft, altogether beyond the control of the pilot. The cowlings of the Mercury were held on by steel cables clamped tightly around at the front and the rear of the motor'.

Above: Course No 9 Pilot training course New Zealand. Tragically all seven pilots were to lose their lives, 5 of them within months of this photo being taken! Rear L-R: P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAAF - killed 25th September 1940, P/O. William David Finlayson 36268 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, Front: P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 10th September 1942, F/O. Noel Carrol Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940.

Above: Acting pilot officers who have completed training in the ninth course at Wigram Training School passed out on Saturday. Standing, from the left, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, P/O. Allan Bridson 36267 RAF killed 14th March 1940, P/O Clive King Saxelby, J.L. Bicker-Uke, P/O. Charles William Miller 36270 RAF - killed 11th July 1942, P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAF killed 25th September 1940. Seated, P/O. William Henry Hodgson 36269 RAF - killed 13th March 1941, F/O. Noel Carroll Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940, H.O Newman, G.N. Fitzwater, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 11th September 1942. Acting P/O. Allan Bridson and P/O. Krogh are remaining for service with the RNZAF in the Dominion

Burial details:

P/O. Eric Orgias. Over Wallop Churchyard (St. Peter). Row A. Grave 2. Born on the 23rd November 1914 at Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand, the son of Albert Edward Orgias, and of Edith Harriet Orgias, of Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Diploma in Sheep Farming at Massey Agricultural College, Palmerston North. A total of 262 flying hours logged and completed 6 operational sorties. Grave inscription reads: "Never In The Field Of Human Conflict Was So Much Owed By So Many To So Few".

Sgt. Laurence Robert Karasek. Over Wallop Churchyard (St. Peter). Row A. Grave 1. No further details are you able to assist?

AC2. Reginald Irving Payne. Treeton Churchyard (St. Helen). Sec. N.G. Grave 36. Born on the 17th July 1909, the son of Son of William and Edith Payne, of Treeton, Yorkshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember".

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 our friend, Mark Andrew for grave photographs. With also our thanks for the crash report to Carl Briese and the Battle of Britain Monument website. Other sources as quoted below:

RS - 15.07.2018

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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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