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  SBD-4 Dauntless Serial Number NZ5037  
RNZAF
No. 25 Squadron

Former Assignments
USMC
MAG-14

Click For Enlargement
Phil Treweek 1998
Pilot  F/O Alexander Moore, 416523 (MIA / KIA) Otago, NZ
Gunner
 F/Sgt John Keith Munro, 417229 (MIA / KIA) Auckland, NZ

Crashed  February 11, 1944

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas Aircraft Company in El Segundo. Constructors Number 1858. Delivered to the U.S. Navy (USN) as SBD-4 Dauntless bureau number 06953.

Wartime History
Assigned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to Marine Air Group 14 (MAG 14). Transfered to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as Dauntless serial number NZ5037. On December 26, 1943 assigned to No. 25 Squadron on Espiritu Santo.

Mission History
On February 11, 1944 took off from Bomber 1 Airfield (Pallikulo Field) on Espiritu Santo piloted by F/O Alexander Moore with gunner F/Sgt John Keith Munro for a radio familiarization flight. The aircraft went missing in the cloud covered hills around the area and despite extensive searches the wreckage was not found.

Memorials
Both crew were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Both are memorialized at Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) on the Bourail Memorial. Moore on panel 4. Munro on panel 6.

Wreckage
During 1987, the crash site of this aircraft was located roughly 50km from Pallikulo. No trace of the crew was found in the wreckage.

Salvage
During 1998, this aircraft was recovered by RNZAF 3 Squadron and transported to New Zealand.

Display
This SBD is displayed at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum in a diorama display unrestored as it crashed.

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - SBD-4 Dauntless 06953
"06953 (MSN 1858) loaned to RNZAF from Marine Air Group 14. Brought on charge as NZ5037 by 25 Squadron at Espiritu Santo Dec 26, 1943. (25 Sqdn) went missing on a radio range familiarization flight near Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Feb 11, 1944. Both crew killed. Wreckage discovered in 1987. Wreckage now on display at RNZAF Museum, Wigram in "as found" condition."
ADF Serials / NZ Serials - Douglas Dauntless NZ5037
Kiwi Aircraft Images - Douglas SBD Dauntless NZ5037

CWGC - Alexander Moore
CWGC - John Keith Munro



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Last Updated
February 27, 2022

Tech InfoSBD

MIA
MIA
2 Missing
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