04.01.1944 No. 11 OTU Wellington IC Z8793 W/O. Thomas K. Paul
Operation: Night cross-country training.
Date: 4th January 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 11 Operational Training Unit. 92 Group
Type: Wellington IC
Base: RAF Westcott. Buckinghamshire.
Location: Brockhurst Wood, Farnham Common
Pilot (Instructor): W/O. Thomas Keith Paul NZ/41525 RNZAF Age 26. Killed (1)
Pilot 2: Fl/Sgt. Arthur Lawson Coulter 421358 RNZAF Age 23. Killed
Nav: Sgt. Ernest Clayton 1602352 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Jack O'Callaghan 426153 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Clive Woodward Estcourt NZ/391045 RNZAF Age 26 Injured
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Victor Edmond Payne 1627385 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off on a night cross-country training exercise although other reports state that it was a practice high level bombing run on a range.
Above L-R: W/O. Thomas Paul, Fl/Sgt. Arthur Coulter, Fl/Sgt. Jack O'Callaghan, Sgt. Clive Estcourt (courtesy Charles Gray, K. Beauchamp and Kate Tame)
At around 02.00 hrs. the aircraft hit barrage balloon cables and crashed into trees at Brockhurst Wood on Farnham Common.
Sgt. Clive Woodward Estcourt survived baling out, landing in trees injured. The family also lost his brother. 28 year old, F/O. Kenneth Trevor Estcourt NZ/417042 flying as an air bomber on 90 squadron Stirling I EF349, shot down by a night fighter on an operation to Wuppertal. Sons of Leonard Horace Estcourt (died on the 13th April 1931, age 48) and Jane Escourt (née Woodward - died 12th November 1942, age 59) of Hamilton. Read his obituary here.
Mrs Florence Payne visiting the stained glass window in remembrance to the crew. Newspaper cutting. (courtesy Slough Express and Kate Tame)
(1) 24/25th May 1942 W/O. Thomas Keith Paul whilst serving with 207 Squadron, escaped injured from a Lancaster I R5617 that he was piloting. Four of his crew were killed, the rear gunner, Fl/Sgt. T.A.M. Whiteman also survived.
Fl/Sgt. O'Callaghan and hIs grave at Northwood Cemetery (courtesy Kate Tame)
W/O. Thomas Keith Paul. Durham Burial Ground (St. Oswald's). Row K. Grave 56. Born on the 30th September 1917 at Wellington. Son of Thomas Paul and of Margaret Isobelle Bone Paul (née Savage), of Normandale, Wellington, New Zealand.
Fl/Sgt. Arthur Lawson Coulter. Northwood Cemetery. Sec. H. Grave 430. Born on the 15th August 1920 at Wellington. Son of Joseph Lawson Coulter and of Florence Ruby Coulter (née Williamson), of Auckland City, New Zealand.
Sgt. Ernest Clayton. Northwood Cemetery. Sec. H. Grave 408. Son of Ernest and Beatrice Clayton, of Southampton, England. Grave inscription: 'Thy Will Be Done'.
Fl/Sgt. Jack O'Callaghan. Northwood Cemetery. Sec. H. Grave 430. Also remembered on the family grave at Lumsden Cemetery, Southland, New Zealand. Born on the 08th May 1922 at Invercargill. Son of Patrick O'Callaghan (died 10th May 1950, age 60) and of Annie O'Callaghan (née Quinn - died 15th June 1961, age 72), brother of James Patrick (died 24th May 1973, age 52)of Lumsden Southland, New Zealand.
Sgt. Victor Edmond Payne. Northwood Cemetery. Sec. H. Grave 452.Son of Robert Victor and Florence Ivy Emily Payne, of Harrow Weald, England. Grave inscription: 'A Grand Son And Brother Loved By All. You Have Gone Your Memory Lives'.
Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame (relative of Fl/Sgt. Jack O'Callaghan), dedicated to other relatives and friends of the crew.