57 OTU Spitfire I R6813 Fl/Sgt. Clement Frederick Clements
Date: 07th July 1943 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 57 Operational Training Unit (9 Group)
Type: Spitfire I
Base: RAF Eshott, Northumberland
Location: Blagden Hall
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Clement Frederick Clements NZ/414592 Age 21
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off on an air combat practice.
Whilst executing an evasive manoeuvre 7 miles south of the airfield collided with Spitfire R7967 at 11:00 hrs and crashed close to Blagden Hall killing the young but experienced New Zealand pilot.
R7067 made a successful wheels-up landing with no injuries to the pilot.
Burial and personal details:
Fl/Sgt. Clement Frederick Clements. Harrogate Cemetery (Stonefall). Section 21E. Grave 7072. Born on the 08th August 1921 in Kaitangata. Enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on the 17th of August 1941. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School on the 08th November 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 08th January 1942. Awarded pilot badge and promoted to sergeant on the 05th June 1942. Served 6 months as a staff pilot with No. 6 Bomber and Gunnery School. Embarked for England on the 09th March 1943 from New York. Joined 57 Operational Training Unit on the 31st May 1943. An experienced pilot with 466 flying hours logged, with 24 on the Spitfire. Son of Harold and Sophia Clements (née Pennell), of Kaitangata, Otago, New Zealand.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot 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, Auckland, other sources as quoted below: