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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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4 OTU Harvard III NZ1059 F/0. Walter Robert De Maus

Operation: Training

Date: 16th May 1944 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 4 Operational Training Unit

Type: Harvard III

Serial: NZ1059

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Ardmore

Location: At base

Pilot: F/O. Walter Robert De Maus NZ/41558 RNZAF Age 24. Killed


On Monday 29th December 1941 he was flying Buffalo I W8200 (1) with 488 squadron when it was reported to have been involved in a mid-air collision with a Gipsy Moth 6 from 'A' flight of the Malayan Volunteer Air Force over Singapore. The pilot, 23 year old P/O. William Water Garfield Felton NZ/412668 RNZAF and his passenger, 28 year old, P/O. William Smith D/jx151875 of HMS Repulse Royal Navy were killed after a wing was torn away and the aircraft in Lavender Street, Singapore.

The Buffalo suffered only minor damage and the then Sgt. De Maus made a safe landing at Kallang Airfield.

Taking off at 08:00 hrs for instrument flying practice, landed 25 minutes later for the crew to change positions and took off again, After completion of the exercise landed at 09:00 hrs and instructed to turn left off runway 21 and stop on the grass verge. One of the unit's Kittyhawk P-40 NZ3163 piloted by Sgt. Lawerence Vernon Morgan Long NZ/43488 RNZAF being next to land then touched down. bounced, swung slightly to the left off the runway and continued along the grass verge.

The waiting Harvard did not emerge from the pilot's blind spot until he was within 30 yards. An attempt was made to ground loop the fighter but failed to prevent a collision, the Harvard's instructor being killed when the rear cockpit was struck by NZ3163'5 starboard wingtip. His pupil, Sgt, R.H Looker, survived uninjured, as did Sgt. Long.

Above: Sgt. Walter Robert De Maus whilst with 488 squadron in Singapor

(1) W8200 Was shot down on the 12th January 1942 over Johoru at 12:00 hrs, The pilot Sgt. Terence Honan NZ/402520 was hit in the left arm but survived after treatment at Johore Military Hospital.

Burial details:

F/O. Walter Robert De Maus. Auckland Cemetery (Waikumete). Prot. Soldiers Area H, Row 2, Grave 16. Born on the 21st March 1920 in Auckland. Educated at Auckland and Seddon Memorial Technical College. Worked as a clerk for Arthur H Nathan Ltd, Auckland. Enlisted at Levin on the 19th of January 1941 as an observer but taken on as a pilot under training on the 21st of March 1941. No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School on the 21st of March 1941. No. 2 Flying Training School on the 01st of May 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 15th of June 1941 and promoted to sergeant on the 26th of July 1941. Joined 488 squadron on the 06th of September 1941. Embarked for Singapore on the 11th of September 1941. Joined 453 squadron on the 29th of January 1942. After Singapore fell returned to New Zealand on the 04th of April 1942. With 14squadron on ground duties on the 23rd of May 1942. With No. 2 Service Flying Training School as a staff pilot on the 10th of September. Commissioned on the 01st of July 1943. Joined No. 4 Operational Training Unit on the 18th of April 1943. Son of Arthur Walter De Maus (died 20th June 1935, age 42) and of Catherine De Maus (née Logan - died 21st April 1961, age 61), of Auckland City.

Others mentioned:

P/O. William Water Garfield Felton. Kanji War Cemetery. Grave 37.B.4. Born on the 11th May 1918 in Auckland. Educated at Mt. Albert Grammar School. Worked as a clerk for Internal Affairs Department in Wellington. Enlisted on the 04th May 1941 in Levin. With Ni. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 14th June 1941, No. 1 Flying Training School on the 26th July 1941. Pilot badge awarded on the 06th September 1941 and commissioned on the 18th October 1941. Embarked for Singapore on the 01st November 1941. Son of Arnold William and Maude Felton (née Brown of Avondale, Auckland and husband of Mary Bathia Withiel Felton (née Spiersdied 20th August 1946, age 25) of Parnel, Auckland, New Zealand.

P/O. William Smith. Kanji War Cemetery. Grave 35.E.10. Son of Alexander and Sarah Smith, of Bushmills, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland; husband of Mary McWhirter Smith, of Bushmills.

AboveL L-R: Back; J.F Reid, Owen Beamish White NZ/411003 ✞, John Joseph Fox NZ/41320 ✞, Walter Robert De Maus NZ/41558 ✞, John George Irvine NZ/41987 ✞, J.R.L Campbell, Herbert Bernard Stevens NZ/41957 ✞, J.G Godsiff, Terence Wynn Honan NZ/402520, Bernard Joseph Daley NZ/402438 ✞, M. Marment, C, Hogan.
Centre; Cecil Deryck Charters NZ/41876 ✞ , William Herbert Gould NZ/41897 ✞, William Ronald Parkes NZ/403822 ✞, Henry Joseph Meharry NZ/41992 ✞, Ronald Hargreaves NZ/41901 ✞, George Theodore Ryan NZ/41942 ✞, Trevor Harry Smith NZ/41953 ✞, G.H.F Hitchison, Graham Read Burgess NZ/41869, John Frederick Burton NZ/41971 ✞, Gerald Francis Burton NZ/42368.
Front; Raymond Lloyd Annand-Smith NZ/41954 ✞, Derek Vaughan Bullock NZ/41868 ✞, Robert Hume Regnault NZ/41494, RC Sayers, Maxwell George Stubbs NZ/41959, H.C O'Loughlin, John Graham Castling NZ/41875 ✞, S.C Radford, R. Clayton, Percy E.E Killick, E.E.G Kuhn, Rupert John Smith NZ/41950 ✞.

.Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, New Zealand Cenotaph, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, National Archive, Janic Geelen and Dave Homewood of Participated of the great 'Wings Over New Zealand' Forum

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 10-04-2023

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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