Sergeant John Maxwell KNIGHT

Service No: 400807
Born: Kyneton VIC, 18 May 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 November 1940
Unit: No. 59 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 59 Operational Training Unit Hurricane aircraft P3406), Dumfrieshire, 13 May 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Carlisle (Dalston Road) Cemetery, Cumberland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Jack Carter Knight and Elizabeth Maxwell Knight, of North Kyneton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Kyneton VIC
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 13 May 1942, Hurricane P3406 and Hurricane V6954 were detailed to carry out a practice climb to 20,000 feet and after to carry out individual spinning and aerobatics. The aircraft collided in mid air and crashed at 1445 hours two miles east of Cummertees, near Annan, Dumfrieshire, Scotland. Both the Pilots were killed. Sergeant Knight was seen to leave the aircraft low down, but made no attempt to pull the cord of the parachute.

The Pilots were:

Sergeant Alan Geddes Graham (1126949) (RAFVR) (Pilot) (Hurricane V6954)
Sergeant John Maxwell Knight (400807) (Pilot) (Hurricane P3406)

A Court of Inquiry into the accident found that: “an error of judgement on the part of one or both pilots while engaged in unauthorised dog fighting. There was insufficient evidence to decide which pilot was responsible.” The Group Captain in charge of RAF Crosby-on-Eden stated “whether these pilots were engaged in dog fighting or aerobatics is impossible to say.”


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, 163/133/133


Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002

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