|Pilot Flying Officer Albert Norman Saward, 4213297 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ
MIA January 15, 1945
Built by Vought. Constructors Number 6073. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as F4U-1D Corsair bureau number 57250. Disassembled and loaded as cargo aboard USS Grand Mesa. On July 24, 1944 departed the United States across the Pacific to Espiritu Santo.
Assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Corsair
serial number NZ5412 with code 12. On August 11, 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.
On January 15, 1945 took off from Green Island Airfield (Nissan) piloted by Flying Officer Albert Norman Saward 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. This Corsair dove into the sea shortly after an aerial collision between Corsair NZ5423 and Corsair NZ5408 while flying at low altitude through a tropical storm. Possibly, due to hitting debris from the aircraft that collided. When it failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
Saward 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 at panel 4.
Navy Serial Number Search Results - F4U-1D Corsair 57250
"57250 (MSN 6073) to New Zealand as NZ5412"
ADF Serials - NZ Serials Corsair NZ5412
CWGC - Albert Norman Saward
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January 12, 2019