|Pilot Flight Sergeant Ian Morrison Thorburn, 432864 (MIA / KIA) Hastings, Hawkes Bay
Crashed December 24, 1944 at 0940
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5807. US Navy Bureau Number 50560. Shipped from USA on July 24, 1944 aboard USS Grand Mesa. Assigned to the RNZAF serial number NZ5429.
Assembled in Espiritu Santo and BOC Unit 60 on 11 August 1944 and assigned to 15 Squadron on September 23, 1944. Next assigned to 23 Squadron on October 9, 1944. Then to 20 Squadron on October 26, 1944. During December 1944 assigned to 14 Squadron.
On December 24, 1944 took off from Green Island Airfield a ground attack mission against Rabaul. During a strafing run, crashed near Vunapope. Pilot Thorburn was unable to bail out and died in the crash.
Officially declared dead the day of the mission. Memorialized on the Bourail Memorial panel 7.
The center section of this aircraft remains on the south side of the main road on the grounds of Vunapope.
ADF Serials - NZ Serials
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January 5, 2018