28/29th April 1944 11 Operational Training Unit Wellington X JA456 Fl/Sgt. Gardiner
Date: 28/29th April 1944 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 11 Operational Training Unit
Type: Wellington X
Base: RAF Westcott, Buckinghamshire
Location: RAF Haverfordwest
Pilot: Fl/Sgt.Trevor Lloyd Gardiner NZ/415277 RNZAF Age 25. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Alistair (Alister) Henry Scott 428259 RNZAF Age 27. Survived injured
Air/Bmr: Sgt. Stanley George Kingsmill 1394618 Age 20. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Marcel Louis Quadty 1376695 RAFVR Age ? Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leonard Ernest Laird NZ/421514 RNZAF Age 24. Killed
Air/Gnr. Sgt. N.L. Taylor Survived Injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
While cruising at 15,000 ft over the Bristol Channel, the port engine failed. Heading for the nearby Pembrokeshire coast, the aircraft arrived over Haverfordwest airfield where, at 23:45 hrs. the crew attempted to land.
Due to their unfamiliarity with the airfield, coupled with the problem of only having one operating engine, the aircraft touched down some way down the runway. 500 yards later the aircraft bounced into the air and then crashed into a 40 ft. deep ravine just beyond the airfield, bursting into flames.
It was later established the engine had failed through overheating caused by a partial failure of the main bearing.
Sgt. Alistair Scott recovered and returned to service. Sadly he was lost on the 04th November the same year. Lancaster III ND917 AA-O with 75 Squadron. The crew of 7 were all killed when the aircraft crashed at Wermelskirchen.
Fl/Sgt.Trevor Lloyd Gardiner. Haverfordwest Cemetery (City Road), Cons. Row 1, Grave 9. Born on the 26th December 1918 at Manganol County. A farmer for the Farmers Trading Corporation. Enlisted on the 18th January 1941 at New Plymouth. Son of Albert Gardiner and Mabel Gardiner (née Maugham) and husband of Dorothy Patricia Gardiner (née Dean), of Westown, New Plymouth. Taranaki, New Zealand. 399 Flying hours logged with 39 on the Wellington at the date of his death.
Sgt. Stanley George Kingsmill. Dover New Cemetery (St. Mary’s), Sec Y.G.X. Grave 16. Son of George Albert and Maud Mary Kingsmill, of 232, London Road, Dover, England.
Fl/Sgt. Marcel Louis Quadty. Maidenhead Register - Repatriated to France (note)
Sgt. Alister (Alistair) Henry Scott. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 5.B.25. Born on the 06th February 19178 at Glenorchy. Worked as a farmer on his fathers farm prior to enlisting on the 13th July 1942 at Blenheim. Son of A. W. Scott and Annabella (known as Ella) Scott (née Matheson), of Glenorchy, Otago, New Zealand. 844 Flying hours logged and completed 26 operational sorties at the date of his death.
Sgt. Leonard Ernest Laird. Haverfordwest Cemetery (City Road), Cons. Row 1, Grave 10. Born on the 12th August 1919 at Wanganui. Prior to service worked as a dairy assistant for the Agricultural Department. Enlisted 27th February 1942 at Rongota after 8 weeks in the army. Son of Ronald James Laird and Dora Laird (née Kydd) and husband of Joan Florence Laird (née Kydd) of Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand. 79 Flying hours logged at the date of his death.
Note: Those named within the Maidenhead Register were all non-Commonwealth foreign nationals who died serving as members of Commonwealth Forces. As they were not Commonwealth citizens, their families had the right to remove them to their home countries, after the war, if they so wished. As a result, they are now solely commemorated by their database record. (courtesy CWGC)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Ralph Snape, John Jones, 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: