Vought Corsair F4-U, NZ 5501 to NZ 5550, 1944 to 1949, part 7

in history •  2 years ago 

Design:
Ivor Sikorsky and Rex Beisel

Company:
Chance Vought
Sikorsky Division of United Aircraft Corp
Brewster
Goodyear

Wing Span:
40 ft 11.3/4 in 12.49 M

Wing Area:
314 sq ft

Length:
33 ft 4.1/2 in 10.17 M

Height:
14 ft 9.1/4 in 4.50 M

Ceiling:
36,900 ft 11,242 M

Speed at 19,900 ft
417 MPH 671 KPH

Range:
1,015 Miles 1,633 Km

T/O Weight:
11,093 lbs 5,032 Kg

Empty Weight:
8,873 lbs 4,025 Kg

Crew:
1 Pilot

Role:
Fighter
Fighter / Bomber

Total Manufactured:
12,571 All Marks

First Flight:
29 May 1940

Entered Service:
July 1942

Armament:
6 x .5 in machine Guns in wings
Up To 2,000 Lbs Under Wings
8 HVA Rockets on wing racks

Qty Served:
424

Years Served:
1944 to 1949

Tail Nos:

F4U – 1A
NZ 5201 to NZ 5396
NZ 5461 to NZ 5463
NZ 5465
NZ 5487
NZ 5501 to NZ 5536

F4U – 1D
NZ 5397 to NZ 5460
NZ 5464
NZ 5466 to NZ 5486
NZ 5537 to NZ 5577

FG – 1D
NZ 5601 to NZ 5660

The distinctive shape of the 'Inverted Gull Wings' was required to enable as big as possible 3 bladed propellor to use the power of the engine, and keep the Undercarriage as short and strong as possible, required for carrier operations

ENGINE


Image Source

Type:
Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp R 2800 - 8
18 cylinder, twin row, air cooled, radial, supercharged

Horse Power:
2,000 HP

Bore:
5.75 in 146.5 mm

Stroke:
6.0 in 152.4 mm

Volume:
2,804 Cu in 45.96 L

Max RPM:
2,800 HP

Fuel:
100/130 Octane

Length:
81.4 in 2.068 mm

Diameter:
52.8 in 1,342 mm

Weight:
2,360 lb

Power to Weight Ratio:
0.89 hp/lb 1.46 KW/Kg

Production Started:
1937

Production 1939 – 1960
125,334

NZ 52** to NZ54** Were Assembled at Espiritu Santo
NZ 55** Were Assembled in New Zealand
NZ 56** Were Assembled at Los Negros
FG-1A FG were Goodyear Type Corsairs

WARB = War Articles Restitution Board
LAC = Leading Aircraft Man
Sqn = Squadron
F O T U = Fighter Operational Training Unit
C F S = Central Flying School
HMS = Her Majesty’s Ship
B O C U = British Occupation Force Unit
ATC = Air Training Corp.
Inst = Non-Flying Instructional Airframe
CCU NZ= Corsair Conversion Unit in N Z
T/O = Take Off
U/C = Undercarriage [Wheels]
Hyd = Hydraulic
C F E = Central Fighters Establishment

The organization of the RNZAF in the Pacific war was,
The pilots and a small staff belonged to a Sqn. [Max strength of pilots was 27.]

The Sqn’s were assigned to Servicing Units which carried out
aircraft maintenance and operated from fixed locations.

In all, there were 10 front line Servicing Units, plus 3 based in NZ.

Because each Servicing Unit painted its aircraft with distinctive markings
and the aircraft themselves could be repainted several different colour schemes
the RNZAF Corsairs were far less uniform in appearance
compared with their American and Fleet Air Arm contemporaries.

By late 1944 the Corsair had equipped all 10 Pacific based fighter Sqns of the RNZAF.

When the Corsairs arrived there were virtually no Japanese aircraft left
in N Z’s allocated sectors of the South Pacific.

They were primarily used for close support of American, Australian, and NZ soldiers
fighting the Japanese.

At the end of 1945, all but No.14 Fighter Sqn were disbanded.

F4U-1 & -1D

NZ 5501

Constructors No.: 5291
Mark F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50044
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To T T S Nelson Jul 1944
To T T S Hobsonville Nov 1945
Converted to Inst 121 10 Jun 1947
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 2146
Sold from Hobsonville
To Mr Edward Palmerston North 24 May 1948

NZ 5502

Constructors No.: 5231
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49984
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
Code letter 2
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 20 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
To 20 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5503

Constructors No.: 5247
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No: Bu 50000
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Nov 1944
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948
Remaining fuselage parts removed from Asplin’s Scrapyard,
Moved to Auckland 1977

NZ 5504

Constructors No.: 5298
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50051
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
Code letter 504
To 23 Sqn Admore Aug 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 20 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5505

Constructors No.: 5307
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50060
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Oct 1944
Engine failure, force landing at Taupiri 11 Oct 1944
Sgt J Stewart uninjured
Written Off 17 Nov 1944
Converted to Inst 105 T T S Woodbourne

NZ 5506

Constructors No,: 5313
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50066
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
Code letter U Y - 06
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 16 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 17 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 20 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Jun 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Aug 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5507

Constructors No.: 5318
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50071
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To T T S Nelson Jul 1944
To T T S Hobsonville Nov 1944
Converted to Inst 122 Hobsonville 10 Jun 1947
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 9203
Sold from Hobsonville
To Mr Wright 9 May 1949

NZ 5508

Constructors No.: 5324
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50077
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5509

Constructors No.: 5406
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50159
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Oct 1944
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Apr 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Aug 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5510

Constructors No.: 5435
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50188
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Nov 1944
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Feb 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Apr 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5511

Constructors No.: 5447
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50188
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5512

Constructors No.: 5451
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50204
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec1944
To 18 Sqn Ardmore Jan 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 15 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Jun 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5413

Constuctors No.: 5451
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50204
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 18 Sqn Ardmore Jan 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 15 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Jun 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5514

Constructors No.: 5466
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50219
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
Code letter U Y -14
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Sep 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
Swung off runway and overturned while landing 6 Mar 1945
Written off
F/S J Wright uninjured

NZ 5515

Construction No.: 5467
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50220
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Aug 1944
A/C dived into the ground after completing a slow roll at 200 Ft
While doing a test flight near Waiuku 1135 on 16 Aug 1944
Sgt Barney Warbrick killed

NZ 5516

Construction No.: 5468
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50221
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Aug 1944
Engine failure, forced landing at Papakura 8 Nov 1944
Written off 26 Apr 1945
P/O C O’Neill uninjured 8 Nov 1944

NZ 5517

Constructors No.: 5474
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50227
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 16 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
Missing on a cross-country navigation exercise flying from Westport to Harewood
Caught in bad weather, no trace has been found
P/O Brian Barstow killed 11 Nov 1944

Missing without Trace

– P/O Brian Barstow– Sat 11 Nov 1944,
Four corsairs departed 16 sqn, Ardmore heading to Christchurch,
the pilots had been given approval to take the A/C home for the weekend. ,

This was their last break away from the base before joining the Pacific war.

The leader was F/O Ernest Robert Reynolds in NZ 5502, with P/O Brian Kenneth Barstow in NZ 5517,
P/O Norman John Reeve in N Z 5521, and P/O Peter Charles Croxton Sheppard in NZ 5522.

Reynolds had completed two operational tours in the Pacific.
the others had no operational experience.

Reynolds filed a flight plan from Ardmore to New Plymouth, direct to Blenheim,
to Harewood Christchurch.

The weather forecast for the flight was favourable, they departed Ardmore at 0845 and they
reached New Plymouth without a problem.

They then set course for Blenheim, on nearing Stephens Islands Reynolds tried to contact
Harewood on channel 4750, to change his flight plan and fly down the centre of the island.

Without getting a reply Reynolds then changed course and the four A/C proceeded to
Westport where they arrived at 1040, they circled the town for five minutes then departed
on course for Christchurch.

As they were climbing away from Westport Reynolds noticed an area of thick cloud that
was coming in from the South West, at approx 3,000 ft they flew into scattered cloud
and Reynold gave a course of 120^M to steer.

But he felt that viability was such that concentrated instrument flying was not necessary,

Sheppard who was flying as no 4 in the formation stated that as they climbed through the
cloud he could clearly see the other A/C and at no time did he feel perturbed by the conditions.

At 5,000 ft his engine began to run rough, deciding that it was unwise to proceed he requested
permission to return to Westport.

Reynolds gave him permission and a reciprocal course to steer, the other 3 continued climbing
through cloud until reaching 9,000 ft, when Reynolds decided that, as section leader,
it was his duty to keep the flight intact.

He also wanted to make sure Sheppard landed safely at Westport, and it was not desirable to
continue through the cloud when he did not know its height or extent.

He called the other two pilots and informed them of his intention to return to Westport,
then began a slow climbing turn at around 1055 hrs.

Reeve later stated that it had not been difficult to keep in formation either during the climb
or the turn, which was a gentle one.

Barstow, who was flying on Reynolds right, stayed with the other two A/C for half of the turn
before skidding back out of sight.

Reeve, who was concentrating on the lead A/C did not see him go, but Reynolds noticed that
Barstow had been watching him before he began to skid away, finally fading from view when
he was about three wingspans away, he was never seen again.

Immediately on losing sight of Barstow, Reynolds called him on the radio to inform him of the correct
compass bearing to get him back to Westport, there was no reply to this call.

Sheppard and Reeve both heard Reynolds call but neither heard any response from Barstow,
once they were free of cloud Reynolds ordered Reeve to land at Westport and contact Harewood
on 4750 as Reynolds did not think his radio was transmitting on this frequency.

Reynolds then circled Westport trying to contact Barstow on various VHF channels with no reply,
he decided to land at 1110hrs.

Once on the ground Reynolds contacted Westport Air Radio and asked them to continue trying
to contact Barstow,

At 1135 hrs he contacted the Central Flying Control Centre in Wellington by telephone to advise
them of what had happened,

He also gave them the position where Barstow had fallen out of the formation which was calculated
to be three to four miles west of Inangahua landing.

Initially, Reynolds was not too concerned that Barstow had not turned up at Westport, as,
assuming his radio had failed he would not know of Reynolds intention to return to Westport.

But would have continued to fly across the southern Alps to Harewood, by 1300 hrs however
there had been no word of his arrival there.

The weather quickly deteriorated after Reynolds had landed with a very low cloud base and
visibility reduced to one mile ruling out any chance of an aerial search that afternoon.

A ground search was ruled out due to the lack of information on where the missing A/C might be.

NZ 5518

Constructors No.: 5538
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50291
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
U/C Failed to lower, belly landing at Ohakea 9 Jul 1945
Written off
F/L A Stanley uninjured

NZ 5519

Constructors No.: 5541
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50294
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Jul 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 19 Sqn Ardmore Jun 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5520

Constructors No.: 5542
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50295
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 23 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jun 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5521

Constructors No.: 5544
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50297
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 25 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
Engine failure on final approach, burst into flames after completing a belly landing
At Ardmore 1410 on 21 Nov 1944
F/O Dennis Ritchie badly burnt, died a week later

NZ 5522

Constructors No.: 5549
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50302
Shipped on USS Northfield to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 29 May 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore May 1944
To 18 Sqn Ardmore
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5523

Constructors No.: 5311
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50064
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
Code letter R K - A
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 18 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore 6 Sep 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Jan 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5524

Constructors No.: 5016
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49769
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
Test flown Hobsonville 4 Aug 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5525

Constructors No.: 5122
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49875
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
Damaged landing without brakes at Ardmore 12 Aug 1944
Repaired and returned to service
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Oct 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5526

Constructors No.: 5192
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49945
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 19 Sqn Ardmore Sept 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
To C F S Wigram 1945 – 1946
Converted to Inst 118 Electrical and Wireless School Wigram 6 Nov 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 9203
Sold from Rukuhia
To R Shearer 9 May 1949
Broken up at Ashburton Scrap Yard 1954

NZ 5527

Constructors No.: 5203
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49956
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
Overturned landing at Ardmore with brakes seized on, 8 Jan 1945
Written off
F/S T Simpson injured
Converted to Inst 106
To T T S Nelson
Sold for scrap in Nelson area
Parts purchased by John Smith of Mapua
On sold to Ross Jowitt of Auckland

NZ 5528

Constructors No.: 5210
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49963
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 2944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Nov 1944
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5529

Constructors No.: 5217
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49970
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Oct 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 17 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5530

Constructors No.: 5218
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49971
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore Sep 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 18 Sqn Ardmore Jan 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jun 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5531

Construction No.: 5226
Mark F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 49979
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
Code letter R K - D
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Aug 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore Sep 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 18 Sqn Ardmore Jan 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 20 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Jun 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
To C F S Wigram 1945 – 1946
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5532

Constructors No.: 5275
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50028
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Jul 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jun 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5533

Constructors No.: 5287
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50040
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Aug 1944
To Corsair Conversion Unit Ardmore Apr 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North `2 Mar 1948

NZ 5534

Constructors No.: 5301
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50054
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Jul 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore 04 Sep 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5535

Constructors No.: 5321
Mark F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50074
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Course Ardmore Jul 1944
Overturned landing at Ardmore 27 Oct 1944
Written off
Sgt Beatson Injured
To T T S Woodbourne Inst 104 Nov 1944

NZ 5536

Constructors No.: 5553
Mark: F4U-1
US Navy No.: Bu 50306
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Jul 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore 28 Aug 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
A/C entered a spin and did not recover
Crashed into Hauraki Gulf near Ponui Island 0850 on 3 Mar 1945
F/O Alfred Fogerty killed

NZ 5537

Construction No.: 5671
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50424
Shipped on USS Sunnyside Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Oct 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Nov 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Feb 1945
To 4 F O T U Ohakea Jul 1945
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Sep 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5538

Constructors No.: 5672
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50425
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Nov 1944
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Apr 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5539

Constructors No.: 5673
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50426
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
Test flown Hobsonville 16 Nov 1944
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
To 23 Sqn Ardmore May 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Sep 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5540

Constructors No.: 5679
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50432
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 15 Sqn Ardmore Sep 1944
To Corsair Conversion Unit Ardmore Apr 1945
To 16 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1945
Overturned on landing at Ardmore 20 Jul 1945
Written off 18 Sep1945
F/L G Bell injured

NZ 5541

Constructors No.: 5685
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50438
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Nov 1944
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Apr 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Nov 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5542

Constructors No.: 5693
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50446
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 19 Sqn Ardmore Sep 1944
To Corsair Conversion Unit Ardmore Apr 1945
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore May 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Oct 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5543

Construction No.: 5694
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50447
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Corsair Conversion Flight Ardmore Aug 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To Corsair Conversion Unit Ardmore Feb 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Nov 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Jan 1946
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5544

Construction No.: 5700
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50453
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 21 Sqn Ardmore Oct 1944
To 17 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Apr 1945
Night flying practice from Ardmore, A/C recalled due to weather conditions
Requested permission to join landing circuit, disappeared no trace found 2130 on 15 Apr 1945
F/S Sefton Ferrick missing presumed killed

Missing without Trace

– Sefton Ferrick - Sun 15 Apr 1945.
22 Sqn at Ardmore lost two A/C whilst carrying out night flying at Whenuapai, NZ 5353
crashed on the ground and was found with F/S Alan Mc Dougall Mortimer’s body alongside
in the morning.

NZ 5544, flown by F/S Sefton Clyde Joseph Ferrick, aged 23 years, when missing he had done
two tours into the South Pacific with the Sqn, by coincidence, he died one year to the day after
being awarded his flying badge.

S/L James Ralph Court, C O of 22 Sqn obtained a weather report for the Whenuapai area covering
the night flying period of 1800 hrs to 0100 hrs, this report indicated that a few showers in the early
evening but an improvement was anticipated around 2200 hrs.

Getting airborne at 1630 hrs F/S Donald McNab found the A/C performed without fault during his
two-hour flight.

Around 2000 hrs a light shower passed over the field and A/C were held back from taking off for
several minutes until the rain had stopped.

Just before 2100 hrs, S/L Court went to the control tower to supervise flying from there,
also in the tower were P/O Douglas Blewett Foote, control officer from Ardmore but detailed
for flying control duties that night.

Two other controllers were also present, night flying proceeded without problems.

F/S Ferrick took off at 2155 hrs. Shortly after at 2200 hrs, the duty meteorology airman reported
a cloud bank was forming in the direction of the Waitakere Ranges.

If this cloud advanced onto the airfield and deposited rain it could restrict A/C landing for approx
half an hour.

Those in the tower were joined by G. C. Hunter, who had arrived by car from Auckland where he
reported a few heavy showers.

Court gave instructions that all A/C should be recalled as most of the night flying had been completed.

Ferrick was ordered to return, this was acknowledged. At 2220 hrs Ardmore D/F contacted Whenuapai
tower to report that F/S Alan Mc Dougall in NZ 5353 reported that he was bailing out on a bearing of 120^
from Ardmore.

S/L Court immediately began search proceedings.

A short time later a resident living along Mangatangi Road, several miles west of Kaiaua phoned
Ardmore D/F to report an A/C had crashed into a hill behind his house, but he was under the impression
the pilot had bailed out.

At 2230 hrs Ferrick called Whenuapai tower requesting clearance to join the circuit and also a weather
report,

F/S Reginald Willliam Wellington, another Sqn pilot flying in the area, called Ferrick to tell him the
cloud base was 1,500 ft this was not acknowledged, but Ferrick contacted the tower again regarding
the recall of another pilot. F/S N M Quarrie.

Those in the tower felt that, going on the strength of Ferrick’s radio signal strength, he must have been
very close to Whenuapai when he called.

Wellington described the weather at the time as being good, cloud base 1,500 ft but no more than
half cloud cover with large patches of stars,

Despite there being no horizon, the lights of Auckland showed up clearly and he had no problem
orientating himself.

Shortly after a Corsair passed over the field at 700 ft, this was taken to be Ferricks, a pilot then
requested permission to land but his call sign was not copied, because the 2 controllers were
busy on the phone.

F/L McDonald “A” flight commander, stepped in and replied with “ You are no 1 to land on runway 22 “
this was answered, “ Roger, Out”.
F/S Quarrie then joined the circuit and was given approval to land as no 2 to Ferrick.

Wellington who was landing his A/C at that moment picked up this call, realizing that he had been
mistaken for Ferrick did not correct the mistake as he was busy taxing off the runway.

Once clear he thought no more of it until questioned later, with the attention focused on the loss
of NZ 5353 nobody in the tower noticed that Ferrick had not returned.

Another Corsair pilot P/O P S Thompson, who had been sent to investigate, had seen the A/C burning
inland and confirmed the crash.

S/L Court, F/L Mc Donald and the Sqn Engineering Officer left the tower to visit the scene of the crash,
all unaware of Ferricks disappearance.

The first person to realize that Ferrick had not returned was a sergeant of the ground crew,

He reported this to F/L Allan Archibald Watson “B” flight commander, who was acting as timekeeper.

His job was to record the times that each A/C took off and landed, having heard an A/C with Ferricks
call sign been given landing instructions as well as instructions to return to the tarmac after landing
he had mentally ticked Ferrick as being on the ground.

When Wellington walked into the timekeeper's hut Watson was surprised as he thought Wellington
was still in the air,

Watson, therefore, assumed that all A/C had landed but as the ground crew had pointed out this
was not the case.

Watson then checked the tower where he was told to their knowledge Ferrick had landed,

Thinking Ferrick had met with a taxiing accident and was stranded on the airfield somewhere
he ordered a ground search but nothing was found,

He also made a list of all the A/C numbers and defiantly established that Ferricks A/C was missing,
he then rang the tower and informed them of his discovery.

The RNZAF Control Center, Auckland, was notified and search and rescue procedures were
initiated at 2325 hrs.

A check was made to see if Ferrick had used Ardmore D/F, LAC Evan William Stephenson Jones
was the D/F operator that night and although he had received a call from other A/C he had
received no calls from Ferrick.

On being contacted by Whenuapai Jones called Ferrick every minute until 0136 hrs on the 16 April
with no reply being received on either of the two channels designated.

While this was being carried out Sgt Denis James Gisby, Airfield controller Ardmore, periodically
sent off signal mortars until 0200 hrs in the hope the Ferrick may see them and be guided to Ardmore.

At Whenuapai, Takapuna, and North Head searchlights were used for the same purpose. with nothing
seen or heard from Ferrick at 0200 hrs, by which time he would have run out of fuel.

Both Whenuapai and Ardmore towers closed down by 0300 hrs, the crash site on NZ 5353 had been
reached and it had been confirmed that the pilot was missing.

At 0700 hrs the aerial search got underway, it was in two parts, one looking for Mortimer, who had
bailed out and concentrated downwind of the A/C crash site.

This was carried out by four Harvards, poor weather forced their return, at 0945 hrs they took off
again to continue the search.

Mortimer’s body was found by the ground search party at 1000 hrs so these A/C returned to Ardmore.

In all 18 A/C carried out 46 sorties of 52.15 min but no trace of NZ 5353 was found

Ferrick had flown 17.15 hrs total night flying and 5.15 hrs night flying in Corsairs

The “Corsair” was added for a Nationwide tour in 1945

NZ 5545

Constructors No.: 5701
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50454
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
Named CORSAIR
Used for demonstrations and displays throughout the Country during 1944 and 1945
Attached to Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Nov 1944 – Feb 1945
And Flight Leaders School Ardmore Apr 1945 – Jul 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Oct 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5546

Construtors No.: 5703
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50456
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Jun 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Sep 1945
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Dec 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5547

Constructors No.: 5704
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50457
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To 14 Sqn Ardmore Sep 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Nov 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Feb 1945
To 26 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
To 22 Sqn Ardmore Mar 1945
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Apr 1945
To 16 Sqn Ardmore Jul 1945
Ran out of fuel, crash landed short of runway at Rukuhia 20 Jul 1945
Written off 17 Oct 1945
F/O Don Moore uninjured

NZ 5548

Constructors No.: 5749
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50502
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To Fighter Gunnery School Ardmore Nov 1944
To Flight Leaders School Ardmore Apr 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5549

Constructors No.: 5787
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50540
Shipped on USS Satlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To Corsair Conversion Unit Ardmore Apr 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Sep 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

NZ 5550

Constructors No.: 5794
Mark: F4U-1D
US Navy No.: Bu 50547
Shipped on USS Saltlake Park to Auckland
B O C Unit 36 Hobsonville 28 Jun 1944
To 23 Sqn Ardmore Aug 1944
To Corsair Conversion Unit Ardmore Apr 1945
To Fighter Pilots Pool Ardmore Sep 1945
Advertised for sale WARB tender No 1704
Sold from Rukuhia
To J Larsen Palmerston North 2 Mar 1948

Unsourced photos through the Ohakea Museum

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

with thanks to son-of-satire for the banner

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  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Really sorry i will not repeat it again

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informative post.
always used to check your post my dear.
your post always delight me.
glad,to being with you.

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good post of history @len.george

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