The Airmen's Stories - Mid. (FAA) O M Wightman
Owen Maurice Wightman, from Colchester, was born in March 1921, the son of Cecil Maurice Wightman and Doris Thelma Wightman (nee Johnson).
He was attached from the Fleet Air Arm (with the rank of Midshipman) to the RAF on 15th June 1940. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 151 Squadron on 1st July.
He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 9th July but was then shot down himself over the Thames Estuary. He baled out into the sea but was picked up by a trawler and landed at Sheerness.
On 15th September he was posted back to the FAA, joining 807 Squadron. The unit embarked on HMS Ark Royal in early May 1941 for deployment to the Mediterranean.
On 30th June 1941 Ark Royal prepared to fly off twenty six Hurricanes to Malta with HMS Furious flying off a further eight.
One of the aircraft crashed into the bridge structure and started a fire on the flight deck.Two officers and one rating were killed. One other officer and two ratings died of injuries later that day. Two officers and four ratings later died from their injuries. Ten ratings were seriously injured. This accident prevented the last six aircraft from being flown off.
Wightman, by then an Acting Sub-Lieutenant, was one of those killed.
He is buried in North Front Cemetery, Gibraltar.