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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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45 group
28th May 1943 45 Group Hudson IIIA FK742 P/O. Woodfield

Operation: Delivery Flight

Date: 28th May 1943 (Friday)

Unit: No. 45 Group Transport Command

Type: Hudson IIIA

Serial: FK742

Code: 42-47298

Base: Dorval, Quebec, Canada

Location: Reykjavik airfield, Iceland

Pilot: P/O. Donald Eugena Woodfield J/12452 RCAF Age 20. Killed (1)

Nav: F/O. John Barker Taylor NZ/412764 RNZAF Age 28. Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Gordon Douglas Hay J/13834 RCAF Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Andrew Fleming Lavery 151934 RAFVR Age 29. Killed

PX. Sgt. Leonard Cyril Medhurst 512555 RAF Age 34. Killed

PX. LAC. Walter Tunney 1531020 RAFVR Age 21. Killed


On a delivery flight from Quebec to England via Iceland.

Taking off at 08:30 hrs. and immediately stalled and crashed onto the airfield and caught fire. No further details as to why the aircraft stalled.

(1) Woodfield Lake southwest of Mcpherson Lake was named after P/O. Woodfield in 1994

(2) His brother, 22 year old Sgt. Roderick Taylor NZ/40781 RNZAF was posted as missing on the 04th May 1941. No: 1 Coastal Command Operational Training Unit Hudson I N7304 stalled and crashed into the Solway Firth off Silloth - all six crew lost their lives.

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Donald Eugena Woodfield. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland. Grave C46. 6. Son of Harry and Winnifred F. Woodfield, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Grave inscription: 'Some Day We'll Understand'.

F/O. John Barker Taylor. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland. Grave C46. 5. Born on the 3oth January 1915 at Auckland. Worked as a assistant electrical engineer for PWD (hydro-electric) branch prior to service. After serving in the NZ territorial army he enlisted as a pilot under trains on the 04th May 1941 at Levin. Remustered as an observer on the 01st September 1941. Embarked for training in Canada on the 20th October 1941. Observer badge an commission awarded on the 05th September 1942. Son of Albert and Evelyn Taylor (née Barker), of Epsom, Auckland City, New Zealand. Husband of Gladys Muriel Taylor (née Smith) of Winnipeg, Canada.

P/O. Gordon Douglas Hay. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland. Grave C46. 3. Son of John and Mary Ann Hay, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Grave inscription: 'To Him Life Came To A Sudden End: He Died, As He Lived, Everyone's Friend'.

P/O. Andrew Fleming Lavery. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland. Grave C46. 4. Son of Andrew Scott Lavery and Annabella M. S. Lavery (nee Fleming) and husband of Mary Fraser Lavery, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire. M.P.S. Grave inscription: 'Dearly Beloved Husband Of Mary Muir, Hamilton, Scotland "In Christ United'.

Sgt. Leonard Cyril Medhurst. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland. Grave C46. 7. Son of Ian Frank and Edith Ann Medhurst; husband of Beatrice Mary Medhurst. Grave inscription: 'Grave inscription: 'Gone But Not Forgotten. Ne'er Will His Sweet Memory Fade. At Rest In The Lord'.

LAC. Walter Tunney. Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland. Grave C46. 8. Son of James and Mary Ann Tunney, of Wigan, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription: 'Most Sacred Heart Of Jesus Have Mercy Upon His Soul May He Rest In Peace'.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06-04-2021

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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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