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  F4U-1D Corsair Serial Number NZ5408 Code 08
RNZAF
14 Squadron

Former Assignments
23 Squadron
24 Squadron

Pilot  Flight Lieutenant Bruce Stafford Hay, 413846 (MIA / KIA) Wellington, NZ
MIA  January 15, 1945


Aircraft History
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 5797. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1D Corsair bureau number 50550. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Kwajalein (CVE-98). On July 19, 1944 departed the United States across the Pacific to Espiritu Santo.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Corsair serial number NZ5408 with code 08. On August 5, 1944 assembled by Unit 60 on Espiritu Santo. On October 9, 1944 assigned to 23 Squadron. On October 26, 1944 assigned to 20 Squadron. During January 1945 assigned to 14 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

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

Returning, the formation encountered bad weather. While flying at low altitude through a tropical storm, this Corsair suffered a midair collision with Corsair NZ5423 causing both to crash into the sea. Soon afterwards Corsair NZ5412 also crashed, possibly due to hitting debris from the aircraft that collided. When it failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). This aircraft was officially written off at Green Island.

Memorials
Hay was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Hay was Mentioned in Despatches (MiD). He is memorialized at the Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) on the Bourail Memorial at panel 3.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1D Corsair 50568
"50550 (MSN 5797) to New Zealand as NZ5408"
ADF Serials - NZ Serials Corsair NZ5408
CWGC - Bruce Stafford Hay

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Last Updated
June 16, 2018

 

Tech Info
F4U

POW
MIA
1 Missing
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