David Franklin LIVINGSTONE DFC

Serial Number: NZ403966
RNZAF Trade: Pilot
Date of Enlistment: 27th of October 1940
Date of Demob: 22nd of April 1945
Rank Achieved: Flight Lieutenant
Flying Hours: unknown
Operational Sorties: unknown

Date of Birth: 3rd of February 1916, in Wellington
Personal Details: David was the son of Mr H.M. Livingstone of Tauranga (by WWII), who was a traveller for Messrs Kempthorne, Prosser and Co.

David lived in Cambridge for about ten years with his parents, their home being on the corner of Princes and Bowen Streets, and he was educated at Cambridge Primary School. He then partly completed his secondary education at Cambridge District High School, where he was a member of the rugby team and a good runner.

David was an accountant by profession and before the war he was working as an accountant at a mill at Oruanui, near to Taupo.

He married Stella in Britain and brought her back to New Zealand after the war. they apparently had two sons.

Service Details: Upon arriving in the UK, David was posted to No. 154 Squadron early in 1942, with the rank of Sergeant-Pilot. This new squadron's main duties involved flying convoy patrols off the east coast of England. After moving to the Hornchurch Wing in June 1942 the squadron began offensive sweeps over France.

Of interest during this time, David took part in sorties over Dieppe on the 19th of August 1942, when the squadron covered the withdrawal of troops after the disastrous landings.

In November the squadron was transferred to Gibraltar to take part in the invasion of North Africa. It was one of the first Spitfire squadrons to arrive at Djidjelli airfield on the 12th of November 1942.

On the 15th of November 1942 David shared in destroying a Junkers 88.

By early 1943 David had received a commission as a Pilot Officer, and had transferred to No. 112 Squadron, where he was flying Kittyhawks in support of the British Eighth Army as it advanced westwards across North Africa. In March 1943 he destroyed a Junkers Ju 87 Stuka and damaged others.

Following this tour, in mid-1943 David went on to instruct French pilots at RAF AFU Sétif, in Algeria. He was awarded the Diploma du Brevet Militaire d'Aptitude aux fonctions de Pilot d'Avion following this period as an instructor.

Later in 1943 he returned to operations with No. 111 Squadron in Sicily. He held the post of flight commander, as the squadron supported the Allied advance. They moved to Italy in October 1943, where David was to see action over the Anzio bridgehead.

On the 17th of February 1944 he shot down a Focke Wulf FW190, and two days later he downed another of the same type. He fought in the skies over Monte Cassino, where Kiwi troops were battling below to take the monastery town, and there he destroyed a Messerschmitt Bf109 on the 22nd of March 1944. He destroyed another of that fighter type on the 14th of May 1944 over the same place.

David shot down his last enemy fighter, a Focke Wulf FW190, near Lake Bracciano, on the 25th of May 1944. The German pilot bailed out and landed in the lake in his parachute.

On the 7th of June 1944 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits, while with No. 111 Squadron, the citation stating:

"This officer has performed his duties as flight commander with skill and efficiency showing marked qualities of leadership and keeness to engage the enemy. Between January, 1944, and March, 1944, he destroyed three enemy aircraft, bringing his total victories to at least five. He has a long record of successful operations."

From October 1944 through till August 1945, David was instructing once more, this time at the Royal Air Force's No. 14 Armament Practice Camp in England.

David Livingstone was credited with six enemy aircraft destroyed and another shared. He was posted away in July 1944 and did not fly operationally again during the war.

Details of Death: 17th of May 1984, at Tokanui Hospital, south of Te Awamutu
Buried
at: Cemetery on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Grace Road, Tauranga (Row 30, Section 24, Plot 39)

Connection with Cambridge: David lived in Cambridge for ten years before the war, and was educated in Cambridge

Note: The photograph and some information on this page has been kindly supplied by the excellent New Zealand Fighter Pilots' Museum. See their website page on David here
Additional information has been sourced from the Waikato Independent newspaper and Colin Hanson's excellent book By Such Deeds

Thanks to: Michael Tuck and Ian Brodie for their help on this page

 

 

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