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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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No. 6 SFTS Harvard II 2839 LAC. Alastair Logie Rankin

Operation: Training

Date: 17th November 1942 (Friday)

Unit: No. 6 Service Flying Training School. 1 Training Command

Type: Harvard II

Serial: 2839

Code: -

Base: RCAF Dunnville, Ontario

Location: As shown

Pilot: LAC. Alastair Logie Rankin NZ/412526 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot: LAC. Allison Sheir Guelich R/117557 RCAF Age 25. Killed


They were taking off at 14:00 hrs on a radio navigation exercise when after 50 minutes flight time was seen to be in some difficulty.

First at a fair height but then losing altitude. The aircraft was seen to wobble as if it were laterally unstable and parts of 2839 were seen to fall off.

The aircraft dove out of control with the engine at full speed into the ground and exploded.

A subsequent board of enquiry reported that the primary cause was a structural failure of the aitcraft. A secondary cause is the attempt to force land the aircraft at a low altitude terminating in a stall whilst turning downwind. It concluded that a possibility one of the pilots attempted to take control from the other.

An order was later published that when two pilots fly together it should be made quite clear that only one of them is the captain and responsible for the safety of the aircraft.

Burial and personal details:

LAC. Alastair Logie Rankin. Dunnville Cemetery (Riverside). Lot 845. Grave 3. Born on the 27th of February 1920 in Fochabers, Scotland. Educated at Otago Boys High School. A farmer for G.L Morris at Wanaka. Served 12 months in the territorial army. Enlisted at Taieri on the 07th April 1941. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 29th September 1941, with his first solo on the 14th October 1941.

Embarked for Canada on the 17th of November 1941. With No. 6 Service Flying Training School on the 07th December 1941. Hospital 09th March - 04th April 1941 (no further details). Son of Frederick George Rankin (died 17th June 1940, age 50) and of Barbara Drummond Rankin (nee Farquhar - died 06th June 1980, age 87), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Above left: LAC. Rankin with LAC Guelich.

LAC. Allison Sheir Guelich. Paterson Cemetery (Cedar Lawn). Block A. Sec. 2. Lot 785. Born on the 02nd July 1916 in Newark, USA. Grave 1. A manager for the meat department of Packard-Bamber Market in Nyack. Enlisted June 1941.Son of George Christian (died 28th December 1955, age 66) and Allison Francis Guelich (née Spiers - died 21st March 1959, age 71), of 600 Lincoln Avenue, Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA

Above - L-R: Rear; JR Kingan, RJ Glennie, HD Hampton, HA Mullins, NBH Newton, JR Rodgers.
Centre; MD Knight, NR Crompton, AS Clark, RWP Cameron, AL Rankin, JA Scott, GK Paterson, TG Smith.
Front; A Divers, JA McConnell, WE Davers, LGH Wilson, DR Warlow, AG Wigley. (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, No. 6 Dunnville Museum, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 12-07-2022

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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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