LEST WE FORGET

Leading Aircraftman Francis Colin WRIGHT

Service No: 408136
Born: Huonville TAS, 21 April 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 January 1941
Unit: No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School (RAF), Southern Rhodesia
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School Tiger Moth aircraft T5554), Senale, 27 May 1941, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Gweru Cemetery, Zimbabwe
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Ethel Florence Wright, of Burnie, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 134, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 27 May 1941, Tiger Moth T5554 was detailed to carry out solo forced landing approaches at Senale forced landing ground from 1140 hours for 40 minutes. Tiger Moth T5552 took off for the Senale forced landing ground at 1125 hours for 35 minutes of solo forced landing practice, and to return by 12 noon. Both aircraft collided with one another and the Pilots in each aircraft were killed. At 1145hours Flying Officer Wingate when giving dual instruction noticed some smoke near Senale forced landing ground, and flew over to investigate. He noticed the remains of a burnt out aircraft. On the way back to the aerodrome he saw the wreck of another aircraft 200 yards away from the first aircraft. An Inquiry into the accident stated: “It appeared that T5552 came into contact with the port upper main plane of T5554, and a collision occurred in mid-air, when both aircraft were practising forced landing approaches.” Killed were:

Air Sergeant T E Serfontein (57897) (Student Pilot) (T5552, flying solo)
Leading Aircraftman Francis Colin Wright (408136) (Student Pilot) (T5554, flying solo)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/18/1979

Bibliography:

Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) (408547) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186, 1982

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