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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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487
487 Squadron Motor Vehicle Accident Sgt. Pocock

Operation: Ground Accident

Date: 11th July 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 487 Squadron (motto: Ki te mutunga - 'Through to the end')140 Wing. 2 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force

Base: RAF Thorney Island, Sussex

Crew involved:

Sgt. Claude Richard Pocock NZ/413471 RNZAF Age 23. Injured

P/O. James Trevor Ayton NZ/39982 RNZAF Age 24. Killed

Fl/Sgt. J.J. Mehigan 1394509 Age ? Injured

Sgt. Charles Eric Bush NZ/401621 RNZAF Age 31. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

From the squadron ORB:

'Shortly after midnight of the 10th an unfortunate accident occurred when one of the flight vans collided with a stationary aircraft on the outer perimeter. P/O. Ayton and Sgt. Bush of 6487 Echelon Armoury lost their lives, and Fl/Sgt. C.R. Pocock and Fl/Sgt. J.J. Mehigan were injured'.

Burial and personal details:

P/O. James Trevor Ayton. Brookwood Military Cemetery. 8.AA.4. Also remembered on mothers grave at Kaurihohore Cemetery. Born on the 06th December 1919 at Hikurangi. Educated at the Kauri primary school and the Whangarei High School. Worked as a stores assistant for Whangarei Engineering prior to service. Enlisted at Ohakea on the 24th October 1939. Trained with No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School 17th November 1939. Joined Air Observers School on the 27th July 1940. Observers badge awarded on the 15th November 1940 and promoted to sergeant on the 18th November 1940.

Embarked for Egypt on the 27th December 1940. Joined 70 Operational Training Unit on the 04th February 1941 then 55 squadron on the 10th April 1941 flying the Blenheim where he carried out 1 operational sortie. 249 Heavy Transport Wing 11th April 1942. Joined 8 Squadron 24th February 1942 carried out numerous operational sorties. Embarked for England on the 02nd May 1943. Joined 13 Operational Training Unit as either instructor or staff navigator. Joined 487 squadron on the 06th January 1944 carrying out a further 27 operational sorties. Awarded his commission on the 02nd June 1944.

Son of John Cumming Ayton and of Mary Christina Ayton (nee MacKenzie - died 08th April 1941 age 58), of Post Office, Hikurangi, North Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 642 flying hours logged and carried out numerous operational sorties.


Sgt. Charles Eric Bush. Brookwood Military Cemetery. 8.AA.3. Born on the 04th November 1912 at Auckland. Worked as a fire alarm salesman for W.H. Tisdale Limited in Auckland prior to service. Joined the RNZAF at Levin on the 14th June 1940 as an armourer. Joined No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School 27th June 1940.

Embarked for England on the 30th January 1941. Further training at 17 Operational Training Unit 29th March 1941. On the 19th September 1942 joined 487 squadron. Promoted to sergeant on the 01st November 1943. 6487 Echelon Armoury.

Son of William John Phillip and Isabel Elizabeth Bush (nee Uprichard), 17 Parish Road, Sandringham, Auckland, New Zealand

Sgt. Claude Richard Pocock. Born on the 14th September 1921. Trained at 12 Service Flying Training School, Brandon, Manitoba, 19 Service Flying Training Schools, Vulcan, Alberta. Son of Claude Rupert Vivian Pocock and Alice Elizabeth Pocock. Brother of George William Pocock. Half brother of Vera Chisnall Carr and Sydney Richard Lousich. Died 18th March 2007, age 85.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to National Archives AIR-27-1935-37 and 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, Shane Ringrose for family grave photo, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06-09-2021

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Acknowledgements
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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