|Pilot Flight Lieutenant Jack W. Edwards, 39908 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Gunner Warrant Officer Louis Andreas Hoppe (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
Crashed May 10, 1944 around 11:00am
Built by Douglas at El Segundo, California. Constructors Number 5536. U. S. Navy (USN) as SBD-5 Dauntless bureau number 36908. Disassembled and shipped overseas to New Zealand.
On February 24, 1944 delivered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Dauntless NZ5051 and reassembled and assigned to 25 Servicing Unit. On March 24, 1944 ferried to Piva Uncle Airfield on Bougainville. Assigned to 25 Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.
On May 10, 1944 took off from Piva Airfield on Bougainville a bombing mission against Rabaul. During the bombing run, hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed into Greet Harbor.
Both crew members were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized at Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) on the Bourail Memorial. Edwards on panel 3. Hoppe on panel 6.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SBD-5 Dauntless 36908
"36908 (MSN 5536) loaned from new to RNZAF as NZ5051; brought on charge Feb 24, 1944. (25 Sqdn) shot down by AAA and crashed into Greet Harbour at Rabaul, New Britain May 10, 1944. Both crew killed."
ADF Serials / NZ Serials - Douglas Dauntless NZ5051
CWGC - Jack Ward Edwards
Louis Andreas Hoppee
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May 7, 2019