An unsettled question concerning the formation and distribution of
massive stars is whether they must be born in massive clusters and, if
found in less dense environments, whether they must have migrated there.
With the advent of wide-area digital photometric surveys, it is now
possible to identify massive stars away from prominent Galactic clusters
without bias. In this study we consider 40 candidate OB stars found in
the field around the young massive cluster, Westerlund 2, by Mohr-Smith
et al.: these are located inside a box of 1.5 × 1.5
deg2 and are selected on the basis of their extinctions and K
magnitudes. We present VLT/X-shooter spectra of two of the hottest O
stars, respectively 11 and 22 arcmin from the centre of Westerlund 2.
They are confirmed as O4V stars, with stellar masses likely to be in
excess of 40 M⊙. Their radial velocities relative to the
non-binary reference object, MSP 182, in Westerlund 2 are -29.4 ±
1.7 and -14.4 ± 2.2 km s-1, respectively. Using Gaia
DR2 proper motions we find that between 8 and 11 early O/WR stars in the
studied region (including the two VLT targets, plus WR 20c and WR 20aa)
could have been ejected from Westerlund 2 in the last one million years.
This represents an efficiency of massive-star ejection of up to ˜
25 per cent. On sky, the positions of these stars and their proper
motions show a near N-S alignment. We discuss the possibility that these
results are a consequence of prior sub-cluster merging combining with