Sergeant Major 1st Class Erick Gutzeit Haug
On 8th October, 1926, Sergeant Major Erik Gutzeit Haug, of No.56 Squadron, Biggin Hill, lost his life when his Gloster Grebe Mk.II veered off the runway during take-off at Kenley.
The results of the inquest were reported in the Belfast Telegraph, on 12th October, 1926:
“Machine Out of Control”
Cause of Aviator’s death.
“An inquest was held at Kenley Aerodrome on Monday on First-Class Warrant Officer Erik Gauzeit Haug (28), a Norwegian subject, who belonged to the R.A.F. And was attached to the Biggin Hill aerodrome, Kent. Evidence was given that deceased Joined the R.A.F. In 1918, and was an experienced pilot, having flown over 900 miles. Last Friday, he flew from Biggin Hill to Kenley Aerodrome on a single-seater Gloucester [sic] Grebe.
When he started on the return journey two officers at Kenley Aerodrome said the machine swerved to the right after travelling 100 yards along the ground. It then turned round in a circle. The left wing touched the ground, and one of the wheels of the under carriage buckled. The machine turned over on its nose. They expressed the opinion that the machine had got out of control, and that the accident was caused by deceased taking off slightly “out of the wind.”
Medical evidence showed that death was due to a fracture of the base of the skull and a verdict of accidental death was returned.”
Erick Gutzeit Haug was born 30th December, 1896, in Bragenes, Buskerud, Norway, to Svend Christian Haug (possibly a timber merchant) and Ilmi Anette Gutzeit. He had one brother, Svend, and a sister, Ilmi. In 1910, the family were living at Ole Steens Gate 16, Drammen.
Haug learnt to fly in 1918, certificate 69. Shortly after completing his service as a Norwegian military pilot, he travelled to England where he enlisted in the RAF, and rose rapidly through the ranks.
Erick Gutzeit Haug was laid to rest in Keston churchyard.
Rest in peace Sir and thank you for your service.