The Indefatigable (which was of course just postwar in NZ, November 1945) hosted Spitfires (Merlin), Fireflys (Griffon) and Avengers from memory, but I cannot think of a V-12 engine that would weigh 2 tons, even a Griffon would not weight that much. The Griffon-powered Seafires carried by the later arrival (light carrier, name?) could have been the culprit, but again, 2 tons seems too heavy, even with a propeller, but that weight was probably just a rough estimate anyway.
Thanks so much Dave and Davidd(ddd)!! Fantastic articles They're amazing to read. I've always loved and been fascinated by Darton Field. I remember my grandparents talking about it. So proud our little town has such amazing aviation history <3<3<3<3 Imagining so many stunning warbirds flying here, the stuff we can only dream of!!! I always lose considerable time dreaming about it after reading articles like those Oh man. Just too incredible <3<3<3<3
They dumped them in the sea??? I'm sure they had to but oh my god. Unthinkable. But incredible to think parts of some of them could still be out there Wow. Must go for a look!!!
I saw this a while back, thought I had posted it already oops ~
RNZAF photos prompt memories of bomber down April 9th 2021 Gisborne Herald
Gisborne fishing and hunting identity Alain Jorion believes a RNZAF Grumman Avenger which went missing from Darton Field during World War 2 lies in the sea off Tatapouri.
Mr Jorion contacted the Herald after reading an article published on March 31 featuring Tairawhiti Museum photographs of wartime RNZAF personnel and their families which asked if readers could identify anyone.
The article repeated previously published generic references (from other sources) to a Darton Field-based RNZAF aircraft which went missing during the war with speculation that it may have been shot down by a Japanese submarine.
Mr Jorion said an elderly friend claimed to have found an RNZAF aircraft “out from Tatapouri a bit” while diving with friends from a Tatapouri-based diving club in the years immediately after the end of World War 2.
The friend later worked as a professional diver off Australian oil rigs.
Mr Jorion said he could not be specific about the location, but it was somewhere between the area which is now Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve and the location of the former Tatapouri hotel.
There had been no further reports of the aircraft, said Mr Jorion.
“The mystery of the found plane still exists.
“It's probably the one that disappeared, possibly shot down by an enemy submarine.”
The Herald, researching after Mr Jorion's approach, could only find specific references to Grumman Avenger NZ 2548, which, according to www.adf-serials.com.au/nz-serials/nzavenger.htm. landed in the sea after engine failure during an operational training flight on March 15, 1944, and was “written off at Gisborne”.
The Avenger was of 31 Squadron which replaced 30 Squadron at Darton Field.
The museum has not been contacted by anyone to identify any of the RNZAF personnel in the collection of photographs.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 17, 2021 12:31:05 GMT 12
I think that must be the same Avenger in which, I think from memory due to engine failure, the crew were forced to perform a ditching, which was done so perfectly the three crew members managed to step out of the plane and into their raft without even getting a drop of water on them. They were not far from the coast and I think from memory they simply paddled to shore.
Of course that it not the only Gisborne-based aircraft that ended up in the sea. Sadly No. 8 (GR) Squadron Vickers Vincent NZ332 vanished on a patrol off the Wairarapa coast and the three crew were marked as missing, presumed killed. No-one has ever discovered what happened. One theory is they may have been shot down by a German raider - as their mission was to hunt for an unidentified ship that had been seen - but this is a longshot.