24 November 1940
The No.237 (Rhodesia) Squadron joins the advanced airfield of Gordon’s Tree. Several training sessions were organized to simulate the interception of Hawker Hardy by Gloster Gladiator of the No.2 (SAAF) Squadron. Captain Gerald J. le Mesurier and Lieutenant Wellesley H. Morris take off for such training. The session turned into a tragedy at 16h20, when Lieutenant Wellesley H. Morris misjudged his altitude and crashed to the ground at full speed near Al-Qadarif. The Gloster Gladiator Mk II N5850 immediately exploded on impact, killing the pilot.
Gloster Gladiator N5850 of No.2 (SAAF) Squadron. The aircraft crashed on the ground during training on 24 November 1940 with Lieutenant Wellesley H. Morris at the controls. Collection : SAAF Museum Swartkops via Tinus le Roux.
BROWN, James Ambrose. A Gathering of Eagles : The campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Africa (1940 – 1941). Cape Town : Purnell and Sons, 1970. p.92 ; MCLEAN, Steven. Squadrons of the South African Air Force and their aircraft (1920 – 2005). Cape Town : [s.n.], 2005. p.5 ; SCHOEMAN, Michael. Springbok Fighter Victory : East Africa (1940 – 1941). Nelspruit : Freeworld. p.48 et 137 ; SHORES, Christopher ; RICCI, Corrado. Dust Clouds in the Middle East – The Air War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar, 1940 – 1942. London : Grub Street, 2010 (Reprinted). p. 80.