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  F4U-1D Corsair Serial Number NZ5429  
14 Squadron

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2006

Pilot  Flight Sergeant Ian Morrison Thorburn, 432864 (MIA / KIA) Hastings, Hawkes Bay
Crashed  December 24, 1944 at 0940

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5807. Assigned U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1D Corsair bureau number 50560. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Grand Mesa on July 24, 1944 and shipped overseas to New Zealand.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Corsair serial number NZ5429. On August 11, 1944 this aircraft was assembled in Espiritu Santo and BOC Unit 60. Assigned to 15 Squadron on September 23, 1944. Next assigned to 23 Squadron on October 9, 1944. Then assigned to 20 Squadron on October 26, 1944. 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 crashed near Vunapope. Pilot Thorburn was unable to bail out and died in the crash.

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

Thorburn was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized on the Bourail Memorial, panel 7.

ADF Serials - NZ Serials NZ5429

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Last Updated
April 23, 2018


Tech Info

1 Missing

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