I contacted the RNZAF Museum to try to get a copy of Air Accident File 25/2/975, dated 27.3.43.
This file covers the incidents that damaged NZ3049, 3051, 3052, 3053 and 3054 at Noumea and also NZ3048, 3057 and 3072 at Tontouta.
The RNZAF Museum confirmed that all their WWII accident reports had been transferred to Archives New Zealand in Wellington. I had an answer from the Museum within 24 hours, which I think is really very good!
So, sent off an email to Archives New Zealand. Received an answer within 24 hours (again very good service!) saying that they have lost the report!!!
Did somebody "borrow" it and forget to return it? Archives confirmed that it was transferred from the RNZAF Museum. It has gone missing since it was in their possession.
Soooooo..... my next question. Does some kind soul out there have a copy of the above report that they could email to me?
I'm hopeful that a number of people took copies of this report before it went missing!
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 20, 2013 8:56:59 GMT 12
Yes it's commonly known that the particular file on this case was stolen from the archive by some light fingered prick. It really annoys me as I have met three of the people involved with the incident and I really wanted to see what the official findings were. I absolutely hate it when "researchers" thieve archived records or worse still logbooks and papers and photos from individuals. I hear it all too often. There are some evil people out there.
It is a pity that these valuable records are held in the Archives and being lost from them. In my opinion they would be better off in the RNZAF Museum, Wigram where they rightfully belong. Archives NZ has so many old records that it is easy to see that keeping an eye on them all is difficult. Wigram has less to worry about and as these records relate to RNZAF history should be with them.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 21, 2013 16:51:47 GMT 12
There was some suggestion made that this record may have been 'perged' by a senior officer who didn't want the report blackening his further career prospects. I really don't know if this is the case however or just gossip.
Nothing much new to add in locating this file I do have a couple of leads, to people that I know have read the file, but this would be pre scanner/copier days, so I doubt they have a copy of it.
During the search for photos of Tontouta (hoping an RNZAF P-40 would be in the background!) I have come across lots of great P-40 photos from the Pacific Theatre.
How about a TP-40E?? I knew some long tails had been converted to two seat, but this is the first short tail two seater from WWII that I've seen.
If you download the full size of this, you can see someone looking in the back from the other side of the aircraft.
Now I just need to find out how to do thumbnail photos!
Edit: Ok, can't thumbnail them as they are too big to use as attachments and I don't want to reduce their size as I don't want to lose quality. I hope anyone who wants this can access it. The photo is free online from fold3.com
Edit 2: Ok, so the link to the photo doesn't work properly for some stupid reason. If anyone want the original photo (4000x4000 pixels) just send me a message. I have 30 P-40 photos from the USAAF archives. A couple in colour. I'll do another thread with all the photos on it so people can tell me which ones they would like.
Ok, Edit 3!!! here is the link to the new thread with the P-40 photos. I'll upload them all over the next few days:
I hear what you are saying about missing records. An alleged "aviation historian" visited Bobby Gibbes here in Oz to get some of his recollections about flying in North Africa and also the Pacific - Tomahawks, Kittyhawks through to Spits and also the infamous captured BF109. Bobby was not in the best mental state at the time and after the "historian" left, all of Bobby's log books were missing and the "historian" has never been seen or heard of again. These items are treasures for the wealth of information they contain and to have someone take them is a crime.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 23, 2013 11:07:57 GMT 12
Believe me Pete, Bobby is not the only WWII pilot who has had his logbook stolen by "aviation historians" of the past. I have met several pilots here in NZ who had their logbooks lifted by enthusiasts in the 1960's and 1970's. Also a few have told me that their logbooks were stolen by removal men during a house shift - I think three people have told me that, which leads me to believe there was some organised network going on there, not just a random thing. I wonder where some of these have ended up. Interestingly some of those who had logbooks stolen were Battle of Britain pilots - clearly added value on the market. It pisses me off no end, as the pilots/aircrew are forever sad that their prized possession was stolen by someone they trusted, but also people who've come along years later to do proper research cannot consult the logbooks. I used to borrow and return logbooks but never do now, instead I digitally photograph the books in the presence of the owner and don't let them out of his site.
Post by Andy Wright on Apr 23, 2013 15:33:16 GMT 12
I've heard several stories about logbooks being taken by 'historians'. The mind really does boggle as to how selfish and, well, criminal, one can be. Complete disrespect.
The one I always think about when I hear of such things is S/L Mohinder Singh Pujji DFC, an Indian Sikh, who was one of 18 Indian pilots to volunteer for the RAF in 1940. He flew with No. 43 Sqdn in Britain and then in the Middle East and Far East. Kept flying post-war before retiring in the UK. He was very active as a veteran in retirement so, as you can imagine, a fascinating bloke. His logbook etc was stolen several years ago (despite this he still released his autobio For King And Another Country a couple of years ago). No one knows by who but there are a number of people keeping an eye out for it. Heaven help the low life who tries to sell it.
I've only ever borrowed one logbook and to say it was nerve-wracking to have it in my possession would be an understatement!
Post by Peter Lewis on Apr 24, 2013 0:00:05 GMT 12
Sorry, meant Evo III - post amended.
The Evo III (aka Waugh & Everson monoplane) was the third own-design aircraft built by Arthur, Ron & Ernie Everson & Ivan Waugh late 1920s - early 1930s.
Twin engine, single seat high-wing monoplane. Two Bristol Cherubs of 26/42hp. 36ft wingspan, 25ft long. F/f at Churchill, Te Kauwhata, 29May34. Entered in the 1934 Macpherson Robertson UK to Australia air race ( wow!) but obviously did not participate. Taken to Hobsonville for CAD certification, but not approved (prop tips insufficient clearance to fuselage). WFU & stored at Te Kauwhata. Removed by person/s unknown.
Even if no one else knows, I know. And its awesome.