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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 65203
Last updated: 29 November 2021
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Date:30-SEP-1940
Time:day
Type:Airspeed Oxford Mark 1
Owner/operator:3 SFTS RNZAF
Registration: NZ1251
MSN: 562.
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pukearuhe, New Plymouth -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Hobsonville
Destination airport:Ohakea
Narrative:
Airspeed AS-10 Oxford Mk I. Built by Airspeed Ltd, Portsmouth, England with RAF Serial P8855. Brought On Charge with Unit No.1, RNZAF Hobsonville on 30 August 1940. Allocated RNZAF serial NZ1251. Disappeared during delivery flight from Hobsonville to Ohakea on 30 September 1940. Presumably intended to be issued to 3 SFTS, RNZAF, as this unit was based at RNZAF Ohakea.

NZ1251 was on its delivery flight from Hobsonville, where it had been assembled, to Ohakea when it crashed in dense bush. The wreckage was not located until 2 March 1941. This revelation came after pig hunters stumbled across the skeletons of the three crew and the twisted plane wreckage, which was submerged in a large pond concealed by thick bush at Pukearuhe in New Plymouth. All three crew were killed:

Flying Officer Harry Nalder Major,(Service Number NZ2522)
Flight Sergeant Sheldon Smith (Service Number 34167) and
Corporal Raymond Smith
R.I.P.

All three bodies were returned to Auckland for an air force burial at Waikumete Cemetery. A coroner's inquest held five months later indicated Sheldon Smith and his two companions were killed instantly on impact.

Sources:

1. https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-airspeed-as10-oxford-i-tongaporutu-3-killed
2. http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/.au/nz-serials/nzoxford.htm
3. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C26239
4. http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/local-blogs/tales-from-the-crypt/8551967/Hoax-sent-to-grieving-dad


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-May-2009 00:49 angels one five Added
27-May-2009 01:09 angels one five Updated
29-May-2009 23:16 XLerate Updated
17-Sep-2009 12:01 angels one five Updated
01-May-2013 06:45 angels one five Updated [Registration, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Aug-2017 20:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
04-Feb-2019 15:43 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
21-Mar-2019 22:08 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source]
26-Sep-2019 06:10 angels one five Updated [Narrative]

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