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  F4U-1A Corsair Serial Number NZ5283  
16 Squadron

Former Assignments
14 Squadron
22 Squadron

Pilot  Flight Lieutenant Thomas Randall French Johnson, 401276 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
MIA  January 15, 1945 at 7:24pm

Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5316. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1A Corsair bureau number 50069. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Breton (CVE-23) as defense aid to New Zealand. On April 19, 1944 departed the United States bound for the South Pacific (SOPAC).

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Corsair serial number NZ5283. On May 5, 1944 reassembled by Unit 60 on Espiritu Santo. On August 8, 1944 assigned to 14 Squadron. Next, on September 10, 1944 assigned to 22 Squadron. Finally, on December 21, 1944 assigned to 16 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On January 15, 1945 took off from Green Island Airfield (Nissan) piloted by Flight Lieutenant Thomas R. F. Johnson as one of thirty-six Corsairs from 14 Squadron, 16 Squadron and 24 Squadron on a mission against Rabaul.

Returning from the mission, this Corsair was one of four that entered a bad weather front and lost altitude. At 7:24pm crashed into the sea an exploded killing the pilot on impact. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Officially, this aircraft was written off at Green Island Airfield (Nissan).

Johnson was officially declared dead the day of the mission. He is memorialized at the Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) on the Bourail Memorial on panel 3.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1A Corsair 50069

"50069 (MSN 5316) to New Zealand as NZ5283"
ADF Serials - NZ Serials NZ5283

CWGC - Thomas Randall French Johnson
FindAGrave - Thomas Randall French Johnson (photo, Bourail memorial)

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Last Updated
March 3, 2021

Tech Info

1 Missing
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