This history is chronological so “Flying Log Books” may not be in sequence.
This is the second part of Dads training which was to qualify as an “Air Gunner” also a very sad time. Going by the information I have found this was definitely carried out at Evanton in Scotland. They were transferred from Cranwell, when or how I haven’t been to able to ascertain.
Original “Observer’s and Gunner’s Flying Log Book” image at the bottom of the page!
Time Carried Forward:– |10.30hrs | 0.00
|Summary for May Unit No.8 AGS Evanton Date – 28 May 1942 Signed N Mara|
Flying time 7hr 50min
Total for course 7h 50m
Certified correct J Compton S/LDR
For O/C No.8 AGS EVANTON
Total Time 07.50
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A/G – Air Gunner
ut or U/T – Under Training
DCO – Duty Carried Out
DNCO – Duty Not Carried Out
R/S – Radio Service
O/C – Officer Commanding
AGS – Air Gunner School
S/LDR – Squadron Leader
FRENCH: “L’accident fatal eut lieu le 21 mai 1942, en fin d’après-midi. Vers 17 h.30, un bimoteur Blackburn Botha s’écrasait à l’atterrissage sur l’aérodrome d’Evanton et prenait feu immédiatement. Des quatre hommes à bord, trois furent tués sur le coup et le quatrième mourut de ses brûlures et blessures un peu plus tard après avoir été transporté à l’hôpital militaire du secteur.”
TRANSLATION: On the 21st of May 1942, late afternoon around 17hr 30 a twin engine Blackburn Botha crashed on landing at the Evanton airport and instantly caught fire. Four men were onboard three were killed instantly and the fourth died later due to his burns and injuries after being transported to a local military hospital.
FRENCH: “Les trois tués étaient le pilote, Flight-Sergeant Ian TELFER, le Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Leslie HUTT, 21 ans, Wireless Opérator/Air Gunner (radio-mitrailleur), tous les deux de la Royal Air Force d’active, et le Corporal Ernest GOURNAC, 21 ans, des « Free French Air Force », né à Tahiti en août 1920. Le quatrième membre de l’équipage fut extrait avec difficulté des débris de l’avion et transféré à l’hôpital. Atteint de très graves brûlures et blessures, il y décéda peu après son arrivée. C’était le Leading Aircraftman Eugène AUBRY, lui aussi natif de Tahiti mort pour la France dans sa trentième année.”
TRANSLATION: The three killed were the Pilot Flight-Sergeant Ian TELFER, Leading Aircraftman (LAC) Leslie HUTT, 21 yr old, Wireless Opérator/Air Gunner, both active in the Royal Air Force and Corporal Ernest GOURNAC, 21 yr old, from “ Free French Air Force”, born in Tahiti in August 1920. The fourth member of the crew was extracted with great difficulty from the wreckage of the plane and transferred to hospital. Being severely burnt and injured he died not long after arriving. It was Leading Aircraftman Eugène AUBRY, also a Tahitian who gave his life for France at only thirty years of age.
A very sad moment for Dad and his Tahitian friends I believe in the burial photo of Corporal Ernest GOURNAC and Eugène AUBRY below Dad is 2nd from the left of the five airmen with their backs to us. What was worse is that it was their final training flight before qualifying.
© Paul L T Mara 2020
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