Post by Dave Homewood on May 11, 2020 22:54:21 GMT 12
A NARROW ESCAPE
CRASH INTO THE SEA
(R.N.Z.A.F. Official News Service.)
SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC, Jan. 11.
When his aircraft dived into the sea while giving fighter escort during an attack on Rabaul by United States Mitchells, Pilot Officer R. D. Yetton, of Auckland, a member of the New Zealand Corsair squadron operating with the Air Task Force in the Southwest Pacific, had a narrow escape from death. He was climbing to meet the Catalina he was to escort, and was about two miles from the coast when his machine dived suddenly and went straight into the sea, and sank immediately. He struggled desperately to escape from the cockpit, without avail, but the machine came to the surface and he was able to push back the canopy and clamber out, just as the Corsair sank again. He was unable to open his dinghy, as oil on it made it too slippery to handle, but his Mae West kept him afloat, and he began to swim towards the shore. Meanwhile a rescue boat had been called for; and he was still striking out towards the shore when an American vessel picked him up. He was admitted to a United States military hospital suffering from slight burns, shock, and abrasions to the face, and is reported to be making satisfactory progress.
Post by aircraftclocks on Jul 26, 2020 18:29:16 GMT 12
Looking at the war dairy trying to locate information on this event I found the following:
Day ending 0800 12 January 1945 records (all time given as LOVE)
Tunnel Hill Road Cratered and Blocked: Twenty-four Corsairs patrolled the Rabaul area yesterday. One good hit was recorded when two quarter-tonners holed and blocked the Tunnel Hill Road into town. Two more quarter-tonners were dropped on buildings near the N.D.L. Pier in Simpson Harbor but results were not observed. Also a truck was strafed and damaged on Tunnel Hill Road. One plane was holed by meagre light A/A from a known position south of Tunnel Hill Road.
F/O Stephenson Balls Out: Hydraulic trouble forced Flying Officer L. Stephenson of NZ-16 to jump near Green yesterday. A crash boat brought him in safely.
For the Record:
24 F4Us NZ-Green Rabaul Patrols 0700-1800 dr 12x500 GP.
Looking earlier, I did not found anything apart from this record from the 0800hrs, 8 Jan 1945 report
Wreckage from Missing Ventura Found: A green oiled-cloth dinghy cover, stencilled NZ4623, was salvaged yesterday noon by a crash boat about 25-30 miles northwest of Bougainville north strip. Other property of the same plane was recovered. Four Piva Corsairs, an Emirau PV and a crash boat made an exhaustive search but found no trace of personnel. Two F4Us were scrambled, but their report was negative.
For the Record:
4 F4Us Piva Special search 1 PV Emirau Special search 2 F4Us Piva Special search 1525.
So not sure what day the event happened to Pilot Officer R. D. Yetton, NZ2187
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 27, 2020 10:25:05 GMT 12
From the No. 19 (F) Squadron Diary:
13 Dec 44 The number 13 is regarded as unlucky and it lived up to its reputation today. At 0745 F/O Bills and P/O Yetton took off on a DUMBO escort mission and approx ten minutes later the squadron suffered its first operational loss [NZ5437]. P/O Yetton found that he could not turn his petrol cock and he was forced to make a water landing approx 2 miles north of Cape Ballin. The aircraft of course was lost and P/O Yetton was picked up promptly by an American crash boat. He suffered facial burns, abrasions and a gash on the forehead. F/O Bills, who had circled P/O Yetton until he was picked up, returned to base at 0845.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 27, 2020 10:27:57 GMT 12
So does the diary record the wrong serial (NZ5437)? Or does nzdf.serials have it wrong a they reckon it was NZ5439 that Ross Yetton crashed. Mind you nzdf.serials has spelled his name wrong too. You might want to check into this Les?
Quick check in the Accident files shows NZ5437 was lost 24 Dec 44 as a result of enemy AA fire damage. and that NZ5439 was lost 13 Dec 44, both being flown by 19 Sqn pilots. I'll send the correct spelling over. It appears P/O Carson got the details mixed up when copying out from the unit history.