Topic: Russell Johnston Mountier (1920-1941)
The first head boy of Katikati District High School, Russell Johnston Mountier went missing whilst on a bombing mission over Berlin in Germany on 8 September 1941.
Russell Johnston Mountier was born in Waihi on 29 July 1920. His parents were Ernest and Alberta Mountier (nee Johnston) of Apata who married in 1913. Alberta was the daughter of Noble Alexander Johnston who owned the Katikati Pioneer Store.
Russell was enrolled in Katikati No 2 School on 2 August 1926 until 1 December 1933. From there he attended Katikati District High School where he was first head boy. He was Katikati's first successful University Entrance Exam candidate, first sixth former as well as the first school magazine editor.
He travelled to England during World War II, joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. After training as a navigator he served in the 104 Squadron, becoming a Pilot Office Sergeant. The 104 Squadron was based at Driffield in England.
Russell was part of a crew involved in an crash landing of a Wellington W5477 aircraft on its approach to Driffield airfield on 23 August 1941.
During a bombing mission over Berlin in Germany on 8 September 1941 the aircraft Russell was in went missing without a trace. He was aged 21. His body was never recovered.
Russell is remembered on the Katikati School Roll of Honour.
Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).
Katikati Advertiser (3 March 2016, p. 9).
The Pioneers, Settlers and Families of Katikati and District (2012) by Christine Clement and Ellen McCormack.