23.08.1945 16 Operational Training Unit Mosquito B.20 KB194 F/O. Proctor
Date: 23rd August 1945 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 16 Operational Training Unit. 91 Group
Type: Mosquito B.20
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Barford St. John
Location: Great Rollright, Oxfordshire
Pilot: F/O. George Mansell Proctor DFC NZ/424519 RNZAF Age 22. Killed
Nav: F/O. Keith Leslie Kelly DFC NZ/4212723 RNZAF Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
These two crew members served in the same crew on at least 33 operational sorties whilst with 619 Squadron flying Lancasters. After that squadron disbanded they both went on to convert to the Mosquito at 16 OTU on the 18th June 1945.
Taking off at 20:46 hrs on a night cross country exercise from the satellite airfield of Upper Heyford - just 18 minutes later the aircraft broke up in the air and crashed at Heath From between Great Rollright and Hook Norton. Both crew being killed
F/O. George Mansell Proctor DFC. Oxford Cemetery (Botley) Plot H/3. Grave 105. Born on the 08th May 1923 at Dunedin, the son of George and Annie Proctor (née Mansell), of Caversham, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. A total of 985 flying hours logged and having completed some 34 operational sorties.
F/O. Keith Leslie Kelly DFC. Oxford Cemetery (Botley) Plot H/3. Grave 117. Born on the 28th January 1925 at Christchurch, the son of Douglas and Mary Bell Kelly (née Atkinson). A total of 600 flying hours logged and having completed some 36 operational sorties.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire of New Zealand and her research work, also the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand. Grave photographs courtesy Stephen Potts. Other sources as quoted below:
Image Credit: George Proctor: Auckland Library Heritage Collection: 26 December 1945: AWNS19451226-26-1.
Image Credit: Keith Kelly: Auckland Library Heritage Collection: 3 October 1945: AWNS19451003-26-10.