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  SBD-4 Dauntless Serial Number NZ5037  
RNZAF
25 Squadron

Former Assignments
USMC
MAG-14

Click For Enlargement
Phil Treweek 1998

Pilot  F/O Alexander Moore, 416523 (MIA / KIA) Otago, NZ
Gunner
 F/Sgt John Keith Munro, 417229 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ

Crashed  February 11, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 1858. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as SBD-4 Dauntless bureau number 06953.

Wartime History
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Group 14 (MAG 14). Transfered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). On December 26, 1943 assigned to 25 Squadron on Espiritu Santo.

Mission History
On February 11, 1944 took off from Bomber 1 Airfield (Pallikulo Field) on Espiritu Santo for a radio familiarization flight. The aircraft went missing in the cloud covered hills around the area and despite extensive searches the wreckage was not found.

Memorials
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized at the Bourail Memorial in Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery). Moore on panel 4. Munro on panel 6.

Wreckage
During 1987, the crash site of this aircraft was located roughly 50km from Pallikulo. No trace of the crew was found in the wreckage.

Salvage
During 1998, this aircraft was recovered by RNZAF 3 Squadron and transported to New Zealand.

Display
Displayed at the RNZAF Museum as it crashed.

References
ADF Serials / NZ Serials - Douglas Dauntless NZ5037
Kiwi Aircraft Images - Douglas SBD Dauntless NZ5037

CWGC - Alexander Moore
CWGC - John Keith Munro

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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