I have always wondered why this PV-1 seems to have its belly so close to the ground, perhaps the tailwheel has collapsed, or it just happened to be sitting in a hollow at the time! Or maybe the mainwheels were in a shallow ditch! Incidentally that is the first time I have ever seen a serial number associated with this particular aircraft, although we know it was with 2 Squadron (12 SU) at the time, at Espiritu Santo. It is pretty obvious that this is a type of aircraft with flush rivets incorporated in its construction. And these four gentlemen are great models for the handsome type of shorts which were in vogue at the time, along with a good variety of head-wear, two with genuine Indian-style "Sola Topees" on left, plus one standard SD cap and one American olive green HBT "fatigue hat". Also various types of footwear. OK, I cannot deny it, I did get very involved in the project at Wigram to catalogue all the uniforms, protective and specialised clothing, etc, and Therese Angelo even convinced me to prepare a reference book on the subject at the end of it all. David D
"This artwork is a prime example of why the RNZAF removed many of the cartoons from the Venturas! Some of No.2 (BR) Squadron's 'Top Brass' at Espiritu Santo, November 1943. L > R are F/Lt Paul Phillips (Navigation Officer), W/C Arthur Greenaway (C.O.), F/Lt. Alex Rowe (Gunnery Leader), and F/Lt. Harry Dean (Signals leader). Note the RAF type tropical uniform, complete with solar topee! The rest of the aircraft's serial is unknown, but is probably NZ4538. (RNZAF)
Another interesting fact about these four men is that they were involved in the last recorded claim for damage against enemy fighters by the RNZAF. According to my Grandfather's log book, that action took place on 28-2-1944 in NZ4518, piloted by S/L Greenaway. His logbook entry reads "war ops bombing strike New Britain, encountered six zeros, damaged one". (Via Dion Rowe)"
How did you find the last digit of the serial, Madmac?
Alas can't take much credit for the SN. The RNZAF photo archive gaves the SN as NZ4538 on the photo information, it also gives the personnel as L-R: Flight Lieutenant P Phillips (Navigation Officer), Wing Commander AB Greenaway (Squadron Commanding Officer), Flight Lieutenant A Rowe (Gunnery Leader), Flight Lieutenant H Dean (Signals Officer)
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 9, 2020 21:10:46 GMT 12
Here is a terrific photo I got from Laurie Hamlet, showing groundcrew members from No. 15 (Fighter) Squadron while they were in Fiji exercising with the US Navy. I have all the names of the men but won't post them here. The aircraft "13" was P-40E-1 serial number NZ3101. The artwork is similar to that which appeared on the New Zealand Shilling coin at the time but may have more of a Tongan flavour?
Further to the above I want to add some more scans. This one is a larger version of the aircraft next to '9' which shows well the contrast in colours/shades between the white of the tails two aircraft, with '9's tail in the right of the photo.
Also I realised that the logbook page might be a bit tiny for people to read so here are larger versions of the key bits. You'll not the top half of the page was ops all flown in Skip's beloved NZ3237 "ESMA LEE", his personal P-40N. But they then went by Dakota at the end of their tour and picked up a batch of different aircraft to ferry home. So these are not the aircraft that we've been discussing earlier that No. 19 Squadron flew on ops with all the neat names.
The comment in Skip's logbook that 19 P-40's set out and ony 13 arrived is rather sad. Especially considering he'd lost two mates and had a major issie himself. It sounds like these aircraft must have been well and trully coosed.
Probably being a pedantic here but I couldn't help notice the serial logged for the Dakota was not used on a Dakota (C-47). NZ3035 belonged to a Warhawk. Perhaps that should read NZ3535 which postwar became ZK-AQS with NAC.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 27, 2021 13:22:41 GMT 12
No. 25 Squadron RNZAF's Douglas Dauntless dive bombers seem to have had a lot of artworks. These all come from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand FotoWeb page.
PR3449 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flying Officer LHF Brown and Flight Sergeant GD Ashworth, on Dauntless NZ5047. Unknown location. Note nose art 'Carborundum nil Bastardium'. Rough translation: 'Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down'.
PR3438 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flying Officer GC Howie and Flight Sergeant JSR Robertson, on Dauntless NZ5048. Unknown location. 'Salome' nose art.
PR3471 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flight Lieutenant TRF Johnson and Warrant Officer RJ Howell, on the wing of Dauntless NZ5049. Unknown location. Nose art 'Winni - Pu - III' with an animal [?] waving a bomb.
PR3467 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Pilot Officer Geoffrey Haughton Cray and Warrant Officer Frank Desmond Bell on the wing of Dauntless NZ5050. Unknown location. Note nose art "Prune's Progress". NB. This crew were missing on operations 17 April 1944.
PR3466 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flight Lieutenant JW Edwards and Warrant Officer LA Hoppe, on Dauntless NZ5051 (?). Unknown location. Nose art is a large bomb with a female diver superimposed on it and 'Kia Kaha', barely visible under the windscreen.
PR3437 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew on a Douglas SBD Dauntless. Unknown location. Believed to be Flight Sergeant H Clark and Flight Sergeant NG Silver, crew of NZ5052.
PR3446 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Sergeant CGW Kuhn and Flight Sergeant M Small, on a Dauntless. Unknown location Believed to be on Dauntless NZ5053. Nose art is a duck holding a bomb above its head.
PR3440 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flight Sergeant LH Jolly and Flight Sergeant TE Price, on a Dauntless. Unknown location. Believed to be Dauntless NZ5054. Note nose art 'Home's the Caper'.
PR3470 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flying Officer BN Graham and Flight Sergeant OE Watson, on the wing of Dauntless NZ5055. Unknown location. Nose art 'He'll be back again!' with the Saint sailing a large bomb.
PR3441 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flight Sergeant CM O'Neill and Flight Sergeant DW Gray, on a Dauntless. Unknown location. Believed to be Dauntless NZ5056. Note nose art 'Paddy's Mistake'.
PR3447 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Squadron Leader TJ MacLean de Lange (in cockpit) and Flying Officer LT Sewell, on Dauntless NZ5057. Nose art 'Howa-baht-that-hic!'.
PR3469 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flight Sergeant ACL Forsberg and Warrant Officer EG Leatham, on the wing of Dauntless NZ5058. Unknown location. Nose art is a wasp carrying a bomb.
PR3444 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Sergeant PRB Symonds and Flight Sergeant B Boden, on Dauntless NZ5059. Unknown location. Note nose art 'The Joker'.
PR3448 - LINK HERE Flying Officer LA McLellan-Symonds (pilot) and Flight Sergeant RF Bailey on the wing of No. 25 Squadron Dauntless NZ5060. Unknown location. These two are probably Flight Sergeant RF Bailey and Flight Sergeant Bill Boden. See IF54 for more information Nose art depicts Donald Duck carrying a bomb. McLellan-Symonds was later lost on a ferry flight on 4 April 1944. Captured by the Japanese, he died in captivity.
PR3442 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Flight Sergeant NL Kelly and Flight Sergeant BE Cullen, on a Dauntless. Unknown location. Believed to be on Dauntless NZ5062. Nose art is a parrot riding a bomb.
PR3468 - LINK HERE No. 25 Squadron crew, Warrant Officer RW Cullen and Flight Sergeant WO Nicholson, on the wing of a Dauntless. Unknown location. 'Kia Kaha' nose art, barely visible under the windscreen.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 27, 2021 14:12:16 GMT 12
This morning Steve Jenks kindly sent me a collection of RNZAF Dauntless photos that his late father Cliff Jenks had collected. Most of the shots he sent are the same as the photos I just posted above, so you can get the best possible version of them by following the links I provided. But here are some from the Jenks collection not seen on the AFMNZ page (yet). Sadly we do not know which serial matches these artworks. Steve does not know where Cliff collected them all from, but says he was closely associated with the veterans of No. 25 Squadron so these are likely from a private collection or collections.
Donald Duck carrying a bomb:
Some of the Dauntless not only had nose art by the pilot's position but also artworks near the gunner's cockpit. Here is one that is faint but it's a naked lady figure with the name "Red" next to it.
A closer look at "Red"
This pilot has an old car with wings
Another gunner artwork
A nice shot of Salome on NZ5048
Here's a close up of the KIA KAHA artwork that seems to be on at least two or three of the planes. As it looks to be the tern dropping a bomb I wonder if this was a squadron logo and worn on most or all of the planes?
Here is the squadron badge with the Caspian tern
I am not sure what this one is
Now behind the chap on the left is the letters AD above MI, it looks like it could be something like MAD MIKE? But clear to see on the gunner's position is the word 'Syncopation'.
Syncopation is a musical term meaning a variety of rhythms played together to make a piece of music, making part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat. I think it was popular at the time in jazz.
I have to admit I wondered if that AD and MI was actually Paddy's Mistake but I don't think it is.
Does anyone recognise any of the men or artworks? Can you put serial numbers to them?
As most of the original official photos of the crews show aircraft with ferry tanks attached under wings, it is almost certain that these images were taken on the ferry flight from Espiritu Santo (Pallikulo strip) to Guadalcanal (Henderson Field), or the Guadalcanal to Bougainville (Piva North strip) flight the next day.
My guess is that these photos were taken at Espiritu Santo, as the background shown in the above images more or less coincides with my idea of this strip. Henderson Field was more open than Pallikulo, and the closest trees there were those of a large coconut plantation situated between the strip and the beach to the north. Piva North was notable for the very large jungle trees still standing between the strips and the taxiways, although there were some parts of the complex without such trees in proximity, thus my best guess must be treated with some caution. To get the exact dates, see the 25 Squadron threads which (I think) contains this information. Perhaps I had better check!
These images also have plenty of views of the brazier headed rivets which held these aircraft together, or at least held the fuselage together, I think the flying surfaces were all flush riveted. Anyway, this display of the SBDs and their crews is a real treasure chest, as practically all those photos would have been taken on the same day. Not certain if all the crews are shown here, they did receive a few reinforcements who arrived a little later.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 30, 2021 15:01:56 GMT 12
I was looking at some old photos I was sent by Shirlene Paterson that belonged to F/L Robert 'Robin' Paterson.
This photo shows a named P-40N-20, "FICKLE PHYL", and going by the code "L", I think this has to be NZ3226.
Also I have been examining a photo of the P-40N coded 'I' and carrying the name 'TWO TIMER'. The serial number definitely starts with NZ322, but the last digit is not possible to make out. The closest I feel it looks like is NZ3225, but if that's the case than the code was changed from "C" to "I", or vice versa, at one point. Such changes did occur of course - and "Fickle Phyl" above looks like the code may have been changed too, not the darker paint behind the letter like it's been repainted - so maybe "Two Timer" was indeed NZ3225. If Two Timer was NZ3225 that lends creedence to Fickle Phyl being NZ3226 too, as they went up together as replacements in January 1944.