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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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15.10.1941 3 Service Flying Training School Oxford II NZ1238 Flt Lt. Wiles

Operation: Training

Date: 15th October 1941 (Wednesday)

Unit No: 3 Service Flying Training School

Type: Oxford II

Serial: NZ1238

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Ohakea, New Zealand

Location: Waitara, Taranaki

Pilot Instructor: Flt Lt. Harold Cuthbert Wiles 1180 RNZAF Age 32. Killed

Pilot Under training: LAC. Norman William Wilson 413529 RNZAF Age 25. Killed


Aircraft history:

Airspeed AS-10 Oxford Mk.II P6865. Built by de Havilland Ltd, Hatfield, England. Arrived in New Zealand on board "OPAWA" in September 1940. Brought On Charge with Unit No.1, RNZAF Hobsonville on 11 September 1940. Assigned RNZAF Serial NZ1238. Issued to No.3 SFTS, Ohakea.

Taking off at 21:45 hrs. on a duel, night flying exercise from Bell Block.

Was observed beginning a diving turn at a low altitude. The aircraft failed to recover NZ1238 crashed into the ground 2 miles northeast of the airfield near Waitara. The Oxford burst into flames killing both of the crew.

Burial and further personal details:

Flt Lt. Harold Cuthbert Wiles. Purewa Public Cemetery, Block G, Row 4, Grave 23. Born on the 15th of June 1909 in Auckland. Son of Harold Oliver (died 5th December 1964, age 80) and Margaret Gertrude Wiles (née Alfred - died 9th February 1984, age 98), of Tuhaere Street, Remuera, Auckland City; husband of Zoe Vernon Wiles.

Educated at Auckland Grammer. Served in the territorial army for 3 years. A representative for H.O. Wiles Ltd in Auckland. Member of the New Plymouth Aero Club. 'A' licence was awarded on the 13th of October 1933. Also of Auckland Aero Club. With Territorial Air Force training as a pilot and received his commission on the 1st March 1935. With Auckland Reconnaissance Squadron 4th September 1935. Involved in civil aircraft crash off Waiheke on the 11th January 1937. Mobilised with the squadron04th September 1939. Posted to Ohaea on staff duties 16th November 1939. Flying Instructor School on the 4th October 1940. No. 3 Service Flying Training School on the as an instructor on the 12th November 1940.

LAC. Norman William Wilson. Devonport Cemetery(O'neill's Point). Block X, Grave 265. Born on the 24th of April 1916 in Christchurch. Son of William and Mary Wilson, of Kiwi Road, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.

Attended Seddon Memorial College and Auckland University. Worked as an engineer with Colonial Sugar Refining Company in Auckland. Served in the territorial army for 4 years. Enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on the 15th of June 1941. Trained with No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School on the 15th of June 1941. With No. 3 Service Flying Training School on the 6th September 1941.

Researched by Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster) and dedicated to the relatives of this crew 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, Aukland (May 2022). Thanks to Antonio for the correction to the correct training establishment (Jan 2024)

Other sources listed below:

RS 24.01.2024 - Correction to training establishment

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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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