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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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Central Flying School Harvard II NZ901 Fl/Lt. Strode-Penny

Operation: Army Co-operation

Date: 26th October 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. Central Flying School

Type: Harvard II

Serial: NZ901

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Tauranga, New Zealand

Location: Near Tauranga

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Keith Stewart Strode-Penny NZ/39932 RNZAF Age 24. Killed


The pilot was demonstrating the tactics used by a fighter pilot to attack a bomber aircraft. This display was in cooperation with an Oxford aircraft. At 15:50 hrs stalled on attempting to regain height too quickly whilst recovering from a steep banked turn.

NZ901 failed to recover and dived into the ground at a great speed close to the airfield killing the very experienced pilot.

Burial and other personal details:

Fl/Lt. Keith Stewart Strode-Penny. Levin Cemetery (Tiro Tiro Road). Grave 45.46. Born on the 05th May 1918 in Oamaru. Educated at Palmerston North Boys High School, Foxton DHS and Levin DHS. A mechanic for Lev in Motors. An RNZAF Reserve Pilot with Middle District Aero Club 22nd July 1937.'A' licence awarded 01st October 1937. (50 hours logged). At Levin on the 26th October 1939 as a pilot under training. With N. 2 Elementary Flying Training School on the 20th November 1939. No. 2 Flying Training School on the 28th December 1939. Pilot badge awarded on the 27th March 1940.

Commissioned on the 04th May 1940. With Flying Instructor School on the 18th June 1940 1940. With No. 1 Flying Training School as an instructor on the 14th August 1940. Harvard conversion training on the 30th April - 12th May 1941. With No. 2 Service Flying Training School as an instructor 07th March 1942. Joined Central Flying School as an instructor on 12th August 1942. A very experienced pilot with 1,991 flying hours, and 1010 on the Harvard. Although the correct surname is 'Strode-Penny' all air force documents state 'Penny'.

Son of William Alfred Strode-Penny (died 21st June 1958, age 65), and of Dorothy Margaret Strode-Penny (née Russell - died 20th July 1978, age 83), of Oamaru, Otago and husband of Doris Ruby Strode-Penny (née Nicholson - died 11th May 2012, age 95), of 191 Seabury Avenue, Foxton Beach Palmerston North, New Zealand.

His brother was also lost less than two months later whilst with 486 squadron. Russell William Strode-Penny was killed on the 18th of December 1942.

Above L-R: Rear; Robert William Douglas Cowper NZ/39903 ✞, W.B Mackley, Reginald Wilfred Prout NZ/39936 ✞, Stronach Vivian Smith NZ/39942 ✞.
Centre; P.S Fougere, Hector Hugh Crawford NZ/39904 ✞, P.F.L Stephenson, G.S Halley, Keith Stuart Strode-Penny NZ/39932 ✞, K.C Lee.
Front; T.W Horton, Dick Middleton Poynter NZ/39933 ✞, John Crayley Blundell NZ/39898 ✞, H.G Miller, J. Bayly, Henry Michael Hoadley NZ/39919 ✞, Robert Michael Goldstone NZ/39914 ✞. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

✞ - Denotes killed

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, 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 12-08-2022

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