MERRY – David

135135 – Flying Officer – Pilot – 36 RAF FS, Penhold, Alberta – Oxford X6734 – KIA at 21

Educated at QRC, played cricket & football for QRC, played cricket for Trinidad. FO Merry as instructor in Oxford X6734 of 36 FS crashed amongst the trees and burnt out two miles south of Penhold airport. The accident occured at approx. 2335hrs on 4th May 1944. The pilot lost his life after ordering his pupils to parachute to safety and remaining behind to hold a/c steady so they could get out. Son of the Venerable Francis Lee Merry, B.A. and Mary Graham Merry, of Port of Spain, Trinidad.

[Source: CMHA]

Initials: D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flying Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 21
Date of Death: 04/05/1944
Service No: 135135
Additional information: Son of the Venerable Francis Lee Merry, B.A. and Mary Graham Merry, of Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Lot 7. Block F.



F/O David Merry (135135) and his pupil LAC George Conway (NZ435950) departed No. 36 SFTS Penhold in Alberta, Canada for a night navigation training flight night of 4 May 1944. Shortly after their departure in Oxford X6734 the area was engulfed by heavy smoke from forest fires that resulted in extremely poor visibility. It is believed that the accident flight was attempting to return to aerodrome when aircraft hit poplar trees in a wings level position while under considerable power.

Impacting the ground hard the aircraft was mostly destroyed in the subsequent fire which consumed virtually all of the fuselage. The wreckage at the accident location 2 miles south of aerodrome was ultimately only found 5 days later with both occupants deceased.

(Based on the formal RCAF inquiry 1300-X6734-1)

On 4 May 2022 a commemorative ceremony was held at the accident location courtesy of the Harvard Historical Aviation Society. The ceremony included laying a wreath as well as a 4-ship Missing Man Formation flyby performed by a local flying club.

Lest we forget.


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