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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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53 OTU Spitfire IIb P8592 Sgt. Russell Stanley Pearce

Operation: Training

Date: 05th July 1942 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 53 Operational Training Unit. 81 Group

Type: Spitfire IIb

Serial: P8592

Code: -

Base: RAF Llandow, Glamorgan

Location: St. Donats, Glamorgan

Pilot: Sgt. Russell Stanley Pearce NZ/413117 RNZAF Age 20. Killed


During a formation flying exercise collided with Spitfire IIa P7504 flown by 22 tear old, Sgt. Raymond Swan 1387580 RAFVR. Sgt. Swan attempted to bale out but was too low for his parachute to fully deploy.

Both of the young pilots were killed.

Burial and personal details:

Sgt. Russell Stanley Pearce. Llantwit Major Cemetery. Sec. C. Grave 27. Born on the 19th November 1921 in Bluff. A civil Engineering Cadet prior to service. Enlisted as a pilot under training at Levin on the 25th May 1941. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 06th July 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 29th September 1941. With No. 6 Service Flying Training School 01st October 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 27th February 1942 and promoted to sergeant.

Embarked for England on the 13th March 12942. With No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre 24th March 1942. 17 Pilot Advanced Flying Unit 29th April 1942. Joined 53 Operational Training Unit 19th May 1942. Son of Frank Halliday Pearce and Marguerite Mary Pearce, of Bluff, Southland, New Zealand.

Sgt. Philip Raymond Swan. Rotherfield Peppard New Churchyard (All Saints). Grave 72. Son of Sidney George and Anne Swan, of Sonning Common.

Above - L-R: Rear; LR Taylor, Kinnell, Morison, BA Smith, Sloan, McMaster, Rayment, Steel, Lewis, Parker, Walters, Warner, Potter, Hendry.
Third Row; Jackson, Cookson, Hyde, Brennan, HL Powell, Doyle, Spilman, Kidd, Combs, Atken, Harley, Duffy, Johnstone, Leech, Aitken.
Second Row; Thomson, Parish, Edwards, Keedwell, Hall, SC Jones, Hutchings, Price, Kassler, BD Jones, Evans, Jay, Starnes, Williams, WJL Taylor, Short, Tonkin.
Front; RA Powell, Deller, Pearce, Ashby, Raharuhi, Bishop, MacFarlane, Griffiths, Hayes, Douglas, Langston, Robinson. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

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, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 15-07-2022

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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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