06th February 1944 516 Squadron Hurricane IIC LF207 Fl/Lt. Woodgate
Date: 06th February 1944 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 516 Squadron. 105 Wing. 26 Group. Bomber Command
Type: Hurricane IIC
Code: Not issued
Base: RAF Dundonald, Ayreshire
Location: Lochain Ghleann Locha, near Beinn na Seilg.
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Arthur John Woodgate NZ/412300 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 14:45 hrs on a combined operation in the Kentra Bay area making low level attacks on amphibious landing craft. Leading two others: Hurricane LF160 flown by W/O. John Edward Stephen 903322 RAFVR and Hurricane LF180 flown by F/O. Claude Laurence Dundas Figgis 776102 RAFVR.
During their return the weather closed in and the formation encountered low cloud and mist. They decided to break up the formation and return independently to the base.
Fl/Lt. Woodgate tried to navigate his way via the Sound of Mull flying low. He hit the south ridge of Lochain Ghleann Locha, near Beinn na Seilg and the young New Zealand was killed. He was discovered in the wreckage on the 10th February.
W/O. Stephen crashed on the Isle of Coll, his body being recovered on the 09th February. F/O. Figgis survived a belly landing in a field near Stirling.
Burial and personal details:
Fl/Lt. Woodgate was buried in the family plot of his fiancée.
Fl/Lt. Arthur John Woodgate. Dundonald Cemetery (Troon). Section K.1. Grave 187. Born on the 20th June 1922 in Barnet, England. Emigrated to New Zealand in 1927. Worked as a draughting cadet for Land and Survey Department at Dunedin. Enlisted at Levin on the 13th April 1941 as a pilot under training. Embarked for Canada on the 22nd July 1941. Awarded his pilots badge and commission on the 07th November 1941. After this embarked for England on the 14th November 1941. After conversion training with 56 Operational Training Unit he joined 486 squadron on the 24th March 1942. Embarked for Sierra Leone on the 27th August 1942 joining 128 squadron. Embarked for England on the 25th March 1943. Son of Arthur Frederic and Kathleen Demaret Woodgate (née Connor), of Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand. A total of 461 flying hours logged with 172 solo on the Hurricane. At least 16 operational sorties carried out.
W/O. John Edward Stephen. Warblington Cemetery. Sec. 3. Grave 746. Son of Major E. F. Stephen and Constance Stephen, of Havant. Grave inscription: '516 Squadron The Dawn Of Ampler Life'.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Peak District Air Accident Research, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, other sources as quoted below: