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  F4U-1A Corsair Serial Number NZ5261 Code 61
RNZAF
No. 21 Squadron

Former Assignments
No. 18 Squadron
No. 15 Squadron
No. 14 Squadron
No. 16 Squadron

PacificWrecks.com
Bryan B. Cox 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5018. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 49771. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Mission San Miguel (AO-129) on March 28, 1944 departed the United States and shipped to the South Pacific to Espiritu Santo.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as F4U Corsair serial number NZ5261. Assigned code 61 (last two digits of serial number NZ5261) stenciled in white on each side of the engine cowl. On April 27, 1944 reassembled in Espiritu Santo and BOC by Unit 60 and flown to Guadalcanal.

On May 18, 1944 assigned to No. 18 Squadron on Guadalcanal. On June 11, 1944 assigned to No. 15 Squadron. On August 8, 1944 assigned to No. 14 Squadron. On December 21, 1944 assigned to No. 16 Squadron.

On January 15, 1945 took off from Nissan Airfield (Green Island) piloted by Bryan B. Cox on his 20th birthday on a mission over Rabaul as one of 36 Corsairs from No. 16 Squadron, No. 14 Squadron and No. 24 Squadron. Lost over the target is F4U Corsair NZ5413 (pilot POW, died). Returning from the mission lost due to bad weather was F4U Corsair NZ5283 (MIA), F4U Corsair NZ5287 (MIA), F4U Corsair NZ5408 (MIA), F4U Corsair NZ5412 (MIA), F4U Corsair NZ5423 (MIA), F4U Corsair NZ5428 (MIA) and F4U Corsair NZ5294 (KIA).

On May 7, 1945 assigned to No. 21 Squadron operating from Jacquinot Bay Airfield. While being serviced photographed with former pilot Bryan B. Cox.

Postwar
During October 1945 flown back to New Zealand. Later, offered for sale at Hamilton Airfield (Rukuhia) as part of tender number 1704. On March 2, 1948 sold to J. Larsen of Palmerston North. Ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 49771
"49771 (MSN 5018) to New Zealand as NZ5260 [sic, NZ5261]"
ADF Serials / NZ Serials NZ5261
Artwork "Kiwi Strike" by Nicolas Trudgian depicts this aircraft on a strafing mission

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Last Updated
October 14, 2020

 

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F4U

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