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  F4U-1A Corsair Serial Number NZ5394 Code 394
RNZAF
16 Squadron

Former Assignments
22 Squadron

Pilot  Flight Lieutenant Graham Cargill Howie (KIA, BR) Kiwitahi, Auckland, NZ
Crashed  June 13, 1945


Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5545. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 50298. Disassembled and loaded aboard USS Coolee Dam as cargo. On June 11, 1944 departed the United States as part of defense aid to New Zealand.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Corsair serial number NZ5394 with fuselage code "394". On July 3, 1944 reassembled and BOC by Unit 60 on Espiritu Santo. On December 14, 1944 assigned to 22 Squadron. On April 27, 1945 assigned to 16 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On June 13, 1945 took off from Piva South Airfield (Piva Uncle) on Bougainville at 8:05am piloted by Flight Lieutenant Graham C. Howie on a test flight. Shortly after takeoff, this Corsair suffered an engine failure and made a wheels up crash landing in the jungle, killing the pilot. Afterwards, this aircraft was written off on Bougainville.

Recovery of Remains
After the crash, his remains were recovered and temporarily buried on Bougainville.

Memorials
Howie was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Postwar, he was permanently buried at the Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery at grave 5. 2.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 50298
"50298 (MSN 5545) to New Zealand as NZ5394"
ADF Serials - NZ Serials Corsair NZ5394
CWGC - Graham Cargill Howie

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Last Updated
June 9, 2018

 

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