Post by ryanbiddick on Sept 2, 2019 22:00:57 GMT 12
Hi there I’m trying to locate what the codes would be on the Harvard my great uncle flew (Stephen Webster). From what I usderstand, most of the 4 otu aircraft started with the codes OD? But going by the picture it could possibly be O v,w,y,x??? All I know is he was at Ohakea 1943-44 4 otu and this is the image I have to go by
I also know he went on to fly p40m nz3115 at 4 otu where he was killed later on in the p40 in a training incident.. also If anyone has any pictures of p40 nz3115 it would be muchly appreciated. Ryan
Something of interest in this photo is the twin gun installation (2 x0.303" Brownings, one in each wing), but the port gun has been removed - this was a NZ modification to provide some "fighters" until the first Kittyhawks arrived. I think the bulges located under the guns were for retaining the spent cartridge cases. Aircraft looks as though it is in an overall yellow training scheme rather than camouflage, and my suspicion is that photograph was NOT taken at Ohakea (background hills certainly do not suggest this possibility) and I think it could in fact been taken at his previous unit, at 2 SFTS (Woodbourne). Possible this photo taken at the satellite field at Lake Grassmere, which did have low hills right behind it. Note he is NOT wearing a flying badge on his battledress blouse (typical of pilots under training); at Ohakea he would definitely have been wearing his "Wings". David D
Post by errolmartyn on Sept 3, 2019 9:47:32 GMT 12
From my trilogy For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 :
WEBSTER, Sergeant Stephen Hartley Samuel. NZC4215767; b Hamilton 19 Jun 24; Hamilton TColl; apprentice blacksmith & welder - Mullan & Noy Ltd, Hamilton. ATC 7 Sqn 1yr; RNZAF Levin as Aircrafthand (ATC) 4 Dec 42, Taieri 17 Jan 43, Delta 15 Oct 43, remust as Aircrew u/t & ITW 12 Nov 43, remust as Airman Pilot u/t 3 Feb 44, 1EFTS 5 Feb 44, 1st solo 11 Feb 44, 2SFTS 7 Apr 44, Pilots Badge [wef 26.6.44] & Sgt 16 Aug 44, NCOSI 4 Sep 44, 1PD 5 Oct 44, 4OTU (P-40) 28 Oct 44, kaa 3 Nov 44. Hamilton East Cemetery - 147. Son of Thomas Samuel & Vera Marguerite Webster (née Parker), Hamilton. [phot. TWN 6.12.44].
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
Post by ryanbiddick on Sept 3, 2019 20:16:35 GMT 12
Thank you for the replies and information, I’ll definately be following all of it up. I’m wanting to build a p40m and Harvard model the same as he flew so I can display them with these pictures. I have a few more questions if anyone has information or are able to point me in the right direction. - does anyone have any pictures of p40m nz3115 or able to point me in the right direction to fin some? -is it at all possible to find out what aircraft Stephen flew without having his log books? -would the numbers on the picture of the Harvard above be red?
Sorry for all the questions but just wanting to do these models justice and uncover some lost family history. Above is the other pictures I have of him.
The colours of the side number (that is the large one on cockpit side panels) of the Harvard in photo could be either red or blue, depending on which part of 2 SFTS he was flying with at time. It was mostly the ATS (Advanced Training Squadron) that utilised the Lake Grassmere strip, which would indicate that the number was painted on in blue - the Intermediate Training Squadron, or ITS, had red numbers. However the ITS also used Lake Grassmere to a lesser extent, so it is really impossible to say for certain which he was with. One clue is this print shows a rather dark looking aircraft, which normally indicates that the type of film used was orthochromatic, so if you can locate other photos of wartime NZ Harvards in this scheme on this type of film, which also show side numbers, then you may have a chance of deciding whether this aircraft had blue or red numbers. David D
Post by ryanbiddick on Sept 4, 2019 12:49:47 GMT 12
Unfortunately these are the only pictures I have, would be awesome if you had some 4 otu pictures. He flew a p40m at 4 otu nz3115, would be amazing if you had a picture of it as it’s the only aircraft he flew I don’t have a picture of. looking forward to the pictures. Cheers
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 4, 2019 19:55:44 GMT 12
I have been wondering what is behind the rear cockpit too John. Is it a canopy cover? Is it a parachute pack? It's hard to tell.
Ryan, do you have your great uncle's logbook?
Sadly there are VERY few photos of P-40's at either of the Operational Training Units, so it will not be easy to find a specific aircraft. However, as it crashed, there may be official photos of it after the accident in the accident report, from the enquiry afterwards. You should be able to get the RNZAF accident report from Archives New Zealand but oddly I am not able to find the record on Archway there.
Post by ryanbiddick on Sept 4, 2019 20:33:04 GMT 12
Looks to me as it could be a parachute over the rear of the canopy? Unfortunately I don’t have his log book, but between myself and my dad we have been trying to gather more information through family etc. abit harder for myself as I live in aus. But dads in Rangiora so gathering info is abit more accessible to him. He has been to Wigram and they have had a look in the archives but didn’t find anything we didn’t already know. I have just ordered the coroners report so see if I find anything there, said it will take up to a couple of weeks so will have to wait until then. Is there anywhere you can access log book information without physically having it?
Post by ryanbiddick on Sept 11, 2019 12:36:42 GMT 12
For anyone that is interested or has been following this thread here is a link to the coroners report. With the information given I’d love to locate the crash site. I just need to find the “Himatangi store” then can work out where it is from there.