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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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RAF Crest
07.07.1942 No. 55 OTU Master I T8411 Fl/Lt. Rockel


Operation: Training

Date: 07th July 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 55 Operational Training Unit 81 Group

Type: Master I

Serial: T8411

Code: None issued

Base: RAF Annan, Dumfriesshire

Location: Kelsick, Cumberland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. David Rockel 44122 RAF Age 26. Survived - injured

Pilot: Sgt. Joel Treister NZ/412287 RNZAF Age 24. Killed


The two pilots were taking part in a dual check landings and aerobatics exercise.

At 19:00 hrs they entered a dive from 6,000 ft in order to demonstrate a loop. The aircraft whilst in a vertical position the port wing broke away causing the aircraft to carry out two upward flick rolls, then stall and entered a flat spin. The pilot Fl/Lt. Rockel decided to bale out, as he was doing so he noticed that Sgt. Treister also opening his hood.

The pilot survived injured, but the second pilot failed to exit in time and was killed in the crash at Kelsick.

Fl/Lt. Rockel born on the 15th June 1916 at Reikorangi, New Zealand had an earlier lucky escape. On Wednesday the 04th September 1940, whilst with 17 Operational Training Unit. He was flying solo on Blenheim I L8682 when he was forced to abandon the aircraft just two minutes after take off, the aircraft crashed and burnt out near the airfield at RAF Warboys in Huntingdonshire.

Fl/Lt. David Rockel later served with 127 and 6 Squadron and survived the war.

Burial details:

Sgt. Joel Treister. Hazelrigg Jewish Cemetery. Grave 189. Born on the 13h April 1918 at Wellington, the son of Samuel and Mary Treister of 71 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand and husband of Pearl Treister of Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 222 flying hours logged of which 128 were solo flights and 12 on the Master.

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, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25.03.2019

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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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