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Thread: Harry Pearce 60773, 502 Sqn, 24-4-1942

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    Default Harry Pearce 60773, 502 Sqn, 24-4-1942

    Hi all,

    I have this note from Henk in an earlier post. He turned out not to be associated with the crash I was researching. Does anyone know how he met his end? A/C no.? other crew inured or died?

    F/O (Obs) Harry C. Pearce - MiD - 60773, 502 Sqn and (died of injuries?) 25-4-1942 buried at Heanton Punchard.

    Thanks.

    whoops just noticed typo in headline, which I can't correct. Date is 25-4-1942.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 26th September 2009 at 17:11. Reason: headline correction
    David

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    Hi Dave,

    Whitley Z6733

    Starboard engine cut at 05:19 hrs and the aircraft was ditched in position 49 48N 005 40W while on a search for Whitley Z6552, 502/Z. The Court of Inquiry suggested that the cause of the engine failure was probably blocking of the oil cooler by wood chippings from the camouflaged runways. Sgt Fogarty rests in Birkdale Roman Catholic Cemetery, Southport, Lancashire, P/O Brown in Cathcart Cemetery, Renfrewshire and F/O Pearce in St. Augustine Churchyard, Heaton Punchardon, Devon. Sgt Goodman, from Bracebridge, Ontario, Sgt Freeman and P/O Densem, a New Zealander from Deborah Bay, Port Chalmers, Otago are all comemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Dave,

    From my Vol Two:

    'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Three: Biographies & Appendices)'
    Fri 24 Apr/Anzac Day 1942
    Coastal Command
    Night search for missing aircraft
    502 Squadron, RAF (St Eval, Cornwall - 19 Group)
    Whitley V Z6733/N - took off at 2112 captained by Plt Off J G Brown, RAF, to search for the Squadronís Whitley V, Z6552/Z, which had suffered an engine failure on patrol earlier in the day and had ditched at 4900N:0650W, south of Landís End. At 0505 a signal was received that the searching aircraft also was experiencing engine trouble and heading back to base. Last plotted on approach towards Landís End at 0519, for a time Z6733 appeared to remain stationary at position 4948N:0540W, but nothing further was seen or heard of it. Three bodies were later recovered but the other three, including the 2nd pilot, were lost without trace and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. It was thought the engine problems were probably caused by wood chippings from the camouflaged runways entering the oil cooler and caused overheating. Further post-accident comment suggested that provision of fully feathering propellers and a fuel jettison system might have prevented the losses.
    2nd Pilot: NZ41473 Plt Off Geoffrey MacLennan DENSEM, RNZAF - Age 28. 235hrs (150 solo - 99 on Whitley) 1st op(?)

    And from Vol Three:
    Amendments:
    p200; DENSEM, G M Ė ditched 15 miles from Landís End.

    Errol

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    Thanks Ross, much appreciated. What a dicey proposition these old kites were, eh? Wood chips!

    So was it a case of some of the crew drowning and the others died of exposure? Did anyone survive and how would the court know about the wood chips if the plane was ditched?
    David

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    Default Whitley Z6552

    My father Pete Webb was with 502 Squadron and in his log books it gives the information
    5/4/41 WHITLEY Z6552 Pilot W/CMDR Cooper duty special escort S.S. Avila Star
    7/4/41 WHITLEY Z6552 Pilot W/CMDR Cooper duty special escort HMS HOOD
    9/4/41 WHITLEY Z6552 Pilot W/CMDR Cooper duty A/S Sweep
    Out of interest he emigrated to New Zealand in the 50s and died last year in Whangarei.
    Last edited by Billwebb; 24th February 2011 at 18:02.

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