NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
R.N.Z.A.F LOCKHEED HUDSON BOMBER AIR CRASH
FIJI
SUNDAY 20 AUGUST 1944

From Evening Post, Volume CXXXVII, Issue 45, 22 August 1944, Page 6 and Commonwealth War Grave Commission web site.

Two Lockheed Hudson bomber reconnaissance aircraft, with fourteen members of the R.N.Z.A.F., were reported missing on a transit flight from Fiji to New Zealand. A wide search was carried out by air in difficult weather conditions, but no trace of the missing flyers were found. The men were:
Flying Officer Sydney Philip ALDRIDGE (Mrs S Aldridge, 4 Somerset Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland, wife).
Flying Officer Norman Kitchener BAIRD (Mrs N K Baird, 75 Pomona Street, Invercargill, wife).
Sergeant George Arthur BRYANT (Mrs M E Bryant, 9 Ngaio Street, Orakei, Auckland, mother).
Sergeant Thomas Bryton [Thomas Briton] [Thomas Britton] CAREY (Mr T F [not J F] Carey, 24 Jessel Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland, father).
Warrant Officer Arthur Francis DUNSTAN (Mrs L F Dunstan, 3 Ruskin Street, Parnell, Auckland, wife).
Sergeant Robert Bruce GILLESPIE (Mr R Gillespie, 22 St. Paul's Street, Auckland, father).
Pilot Officer Ivan Russell JOHNSON (Mrs O B Johnson, 12 Dryden Street, Auckland, mother).
Flight Lieutenant Wilbur LANGE (Mrs T Lange, 3 Highwick Avenue, Epsom, Auckland, wife).
Pilot Officer Kenneth Brian MARSHALL (Mr W G Marshall, 29 Camberwell Road, Hawera, father).
Flying Officer Jack Andrew OLSEN (Mr A Olsen, 4 Haig Avenue, Dominion Road Auckland, father).
Pilot Officer Kenneth Alexander ROSS (Mrs L Ross, 46 Brougham Street, Wellington, mother).
Flying Officer David Oliphant STEWART (Mr H H Stewart, 24 Matai Road, Green Lane, Auckland, father):
Flight Sergeant Thomas Hartley WARD (Mesdames I and E Partridge, 15 Tuhimata Road, St. Heliers, Aucka
Flying Officer John Thomson WAUGH (Mrs E Waugh, Murrayfield, Tinakori Road, Wellington, wife).

The two aircraft were part of a formation of seven Hudsons which left Nausori, Fiji, at approximately 6.10am on Sunday. They flew in formation for half the route, when they ran into very thick weather, and in accordance with the standard procedure in such conditions, they broke formation and continued individually.

Five aircraft arrived in New Zealand, landing between 1.30 and 1.52 p.m. As far as is known at present no distress signals were sent out from the missing aircraft. They had a maximum fuel capacity sufficient for flying until about 4.30 on Sunday afternoon, and when they failed to arrive at that time, arrangements were made for an extensive search to be carried out at first light on Monday morning. Aircraft were placed in readiness and twelve long-range aircraft were dispatched

They carried out parallel searches along the likely route of the missing aircraft, fanning out in the area in which it was assumed the aircraft might have come down, but without success. In addition to the five Hudson aircraft which landed safely two R.N.Z.A.F. Catalina flying-boats left Fiji and arrived in New Zealand on Sunday.

Flying Officer WAUGH is a well-known and popular member of the corps of private secretaries to Ministers of the Crown. He was with the Hon. R. Semple when he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Prior to going to the Pacific he was attached to the staff at Air Headquarters in Wellington. His service as a private secretary was rather unique, in that he was first attached to a Minister's office when he was still in his teens. He joined the Public Service as a cadet, and after a short time in the office of the Public Service Commissioner he became a member of the staff of the late Sir James Allen when he was Minister of Defence in the war of 1914-18. After the war, he was appointed a private secretary to the late Sir Maui Pomare. That was his first secretarial appointment and in subsequent years he was private secretary to a number of other Ministers, including the present Prime Minister (Mr. Fraser) when he was Minister of Health. He was with Mr. Fraser for four years, and accompanied him to Great Britain in 1939. Flying Officer Waugh is 44 years of age.

Auckland Star, Volume LXXV, Issue 198, 22 August 1944, Page 6

Flying-Officer J T WAUGH is widely known in New Zealand as a member of the ministerial secretarial corps, to which he belonged for some 20 years. He accompanied the Prime Minister on Mr. Fraser's first visit to London, in 1941. His son, Sergeant-Pilot John Waugh, is awaiting orders to go overseas in the R.A.F. Flying-Officer Waugh became a Ministers secretary while still in his teens, an unusual accomplishment. He served as private secretary successively to the late Sir James Allen, the late Sir Maui Pomare, Sir Alexander Young, Mr A J Stallworthy, and, just before enlisting, Mr. Semple. He is 44 years of age.

Flying-Officer STEWART is 29 years of age. and the eldest son of Mr and Mrs H H Stewart, of Matai Road, Green Lane. After education at the Cornwall Park School and Auckland Grammar School he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in January, 1940. For the past six months he has been in the South Pacific area.

Flight-Lieutenant LANGE has been in the R.N.Z.A.F. since the outbreak of war. He is regarded by brother officers as a first class type. He was on various phases of air crew duty until the entry of Japan, when he was transferred to an Army co-operational squadron, and later to a bomber reconnaissance squadron.

Pilot-Officer K B MARSHALL, of Hawera, is a recently commissioned officer.

Warrant-Officer DUNSTAN had been with a reconnaissance squadron for some time.



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