Operation: Target towing
Date: 21st August 1944 (Monday)
Unit: No. 650 Squadron. 70 Group
Type: Martinet TT.I
Base: RAF Cark, Lancashire (now Cumbria)
Location: Middleton Sands, Lancaster
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. John Charles Wilson NZ/425967 RNZAF Age 24. Seriously injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. C.W. Harris 945436 RAFVR Seriously injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at around 15:05 hrs on a target towing for Army Co-operation exercise.
Once completed the pilot dropped the drogue and made a circuit out over the sea. He then came in very low over the firing camp on Middleton Sands. During a turn to port a wing tip caught the sand cartwheeling the Martinet. The aircraft crashed at 16:47 hrs and caught fire.
Both crew were pulled from the wreckage seriously injured. Sadly Sgt. Wilson succumbed to his injuries two days later at the Morecambe RAF Hospital.
Fl/Sgt. John Charles Wilson. Torrisholme Cemetery. Block A. Blue. Grave 19. Born on the 02nd May 1920 at Christchurch, the son of George Charles and Mary Ellen Wilson (née Power'), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A motor mechanic at Hutchinson's Motors prior to service. A total of 289 flying hours logged with 7 of these on the Martinet.
Every year on Anzac day (25 April) the Royal British Legion, Morecambe and Heysham branch lay a wreath on his grave.
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:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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