David O’Donnell was born on 21 July 1921, the son of David and Esther O’Donnell (nee Collard), of Aramoho.
David was Navigator aboard Stirling I W 7637/W when it took off at 18:26 from Chedburgh on a raid on Lorient, France, involving 157 aircraft. It was among three planes lost without trace.The crew of Stirling Mark I W7637 BU-W killed that afternoon consisted of :
- Sqn/Ldr Paul Winstanley Manners Carlyon DFC, 42672, Royal Air Force 
- Sgt Lawrence Carr, 1121598, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 
- Sgt John Laurence Kemp, 1235720, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 
- Flg/Off David Keith O’Donnell, 402063, Royal New Zealand Air Force 
- Plt/Off John Nelson Peck, J/16748, Royal Canadian Air Force 
- Plt/Off Peter Francis Pinder, J/16143, Royal Canadian Air Force 
- Sgt Charles Edgar Clarke Ransom, 994313, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 
According the Sgt Carr’s nephew this crew flew over thirty times together.