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  F4U-1D Corsair Serial Number NZ5429  
RNZAF
14 Squadron

Former Assignments
15 Squadron
23 Squadron
20 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2006

Pilot  Flight Sergeant Ian Morrison Thorburn, 432864 (MIA / KIA) Hastings, Hawkes Bay
Crashed  December 24, 1944 at 9:40am


Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5807. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1D Corsair bureau number 50560. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Grand Mesa. On July 24, 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 NZ5429. On August 11, 1944 reassembled in Espiritu Santo and BOC Unit 60. On September 23, 1944 assigned to 15 Squadron. Next on October 9, 1944 assigned to 23 Squadron. Then on October 26, 1944 assigned to 20 Squadron. During December 1944 assigned to 14 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 24, 1944 took off from Green Island Airfield (Nissan) piloted by Flight Sergeant Ian Morrison Thorburn on a ground attack mission against Rabaul. During a strafing run, this aircraft flew into the ground and crashed near Vunapope. Pilot Thorburn was unable to bail out and died in the crash. Afterwards, this aircraft was written off the books at Green Island.

Wreckage
The center section of this aircraft remains on the south side of the main road on the grounds of Vunapope.

Memorials
Thorburn was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at the Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery on the Bourail Memorial on panel 7.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1D Corsair 50560
"50560 (MSN 5807) to New Zealand as NZ5420" [unclear if this is the correct bureau number]
ADF Serials - NZ Serials NZ5429

CWGC - Ian Morrison Thorburn

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Last Updated
June 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
F4U

MIA
MIA
1 Missing
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