NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
R.N.Z.A.F DOUGLAS DAKOTA (D.C.3.) AIR CRASH
EN ROUTE TO NEW ZEALAND FROM ESPIRITU SANTO, VANUATU [NEW HEBRIDES]
TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 1945

A Douglas Dakota (D.C.3) carrying 20 Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel was lost enroute to New Zealand from Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. This air accident still remains the heaviest single loss in RNZAF history.

From - Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 227, 25 September 1945, Page 6

Since 10.8 yesterday morning (New Zealand time) there has been no word of a Douglas Dakota aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Transport Command, which was due at Whenuapai airfield at 3.40 p.m. Carrying 20 members of the R.N.Z.A.F., the plane left Espiritu Santo, in the New Hebrides, about 6 a.m., and is thought to have been in the vicinity of New Caledonia when last heard of.
The plane communicated with Norfolk Island by radio during the morning and called for a direction-finding bearing at 10.8 a.m. At that time she was reported 330 miles east of north of Norfolk. Nothing has been heard from her since. The normal procedure is for planes to give their position every half-hour.
Aircraft from Norfolk Island and New Caledonia were dispatched for the search and extensive searches were carried out from New Zealand, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and New Hebrides. Sixteen planes were engaged in the search.

List Of Crew And Passengers

The following are members of the crew of the missing Dakota:

Flying-Officer Kenneth McARTHUR - 28 years - Mr A F McArthur, 10 Cheltenham Road, Devonport (father) [Son of Arthur Flintoff McArthur and Agnes Mary McArthur, of Auckland City, New Zealand]

Flying-Officer Jack Arthur HOFFEINS - 24 years - Mr C J Hoffeins, Wellington (father) [Son of Charles James Hoffeins and Irene Nita Hoffeins, of Wellington City, New Zealand]

Pilot-Officer Clifton Charles KENNEDY - 25 years Mr C Kennedy, Blenheim (father). [Son of Charles and Alice Kennedy; husband of Margaret Joyce Kennedy, of Upper Plain, Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand]

Corporal John Douglas JACOBS - Mrs Ngaire Phyllis Jacobs [nee Peterson], Christchurch (wife)

Passengers on the plane were:

Flight-Lieutenant Wilfrid Francis COULSON - 38 years - Mrs Coulson, Riccarton (wife) [Son of William and Gertrude Coulson; husband of Joyce Edith Coulson, of Brooks Bar, Manchester, England]

Flying-Officer Douglas FARR - 25 years - Mrs, Farr, Dunedin (wife). [Son of Leonard and Beatrice May Farr, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; husband of Margaret Mary Farr]

Flying-Officer Alan Allister MACPHERSON 28 years - Mrs MacPherson, Christchurch (mother) [Son of Lt. Allister Ewen Macpherson and Edith May Macpherson, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand]

Flight-Sergeant Reginald Bernard RUSSELL 41 years - Mrs Russell, Sydenham, Christchurch (wife) [Son of Ernest Edwin Russell and of Emily Harriet Russell (nee Humphries); husband of Margherita Russell, of Sydenham, Canterbury, New Zealand]

Corporal Marshall Harry WILSON - 21 years - Mr A Wilson, Taumarunui (father)[Son of Alfred Wilson and of Catherine Rebecca Wilson (nee Wilkins), of Taumarunui, Auckland, New Zealand]

Corporal Edmund Eaton GOSSLING - 36 years - Mrs Gossling, Redcliff, Christchurch (wife) [Son of Samuel John and Mabel Lottie Gossling; husband of Marjory Gossling, of Redcliffs, Canterbury, New Zealand]

Corporal Frank Graham HALDANE - 35 years - Mrs. Haldane, Dunedin (wife) [Son of Alexander and Isabella Haldane; husband of Ida Muriel Haldane, Dunedin, New Zealand]

L.A.C. Harry FAINE - 25 years - Mrs E Faine, 36, Lawrence Street, Herne Bay (mother) [Son of Jacob and Esther Faine, of Herne Bay, Auckland, New Zealand]

L.A.C. Oswald Ferguson BATH - 32 years Mrs Bath, Invercargill (wife) [Son of John Thomas Bath and Jeannie Bath; husband of Grace Bath, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand]

L.A.C. George FIRMAN - 22 years - Mrs Firman, Waipori Falls, Otago (mother) [Son of George Firman and of Louisa Firman (nee Mitchell), of St. Kilda, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand]

L.A.C. John Barnard GRENFELL - 23 years Mrs D A Gliddon, Nelson (sister) [Son of William Grenfell and of Cicely Grenfell (nee Rump), of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand]

L.A.C. Frederick John KEARNEY - 21 years Mr J Kearney, Invercargill (father) [Son of John and Mary Kearney, of Ocean Beach, Southland, New Zealand]

L.A.C. David John REID - 26 years - Mrs Reid, Masterton (wife) [Son of Frank John Reid and of Maud Mary Reid (nee Marra); husband of Vereen Reid, of Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand]

L.A.C. Ralph Gordon SAVAGE - 36 years - Mrs E E Savage, Riccarton (mother) [Son of George Savage and of Emily Elizabeth Savage (nee Burrows), of Riccarton, Canterbury, New Zealand]

L.A.C. Raymond Jonathan TAYLOR - 22 years - Mrs I M Taylor, Mosgiel (mother) [Son of George Taylor and of Isabella McKay Taylor (nee Shore), of Allanton, Otago, New Zealand]

L.A.C. Douglas Stanley THOMAS - 20 years - Mrs C G Thomas, Dunedin (mother) [Son of Stanley Thomas and of Cecilia Gertrude Thomas (nee McCrone), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand]



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