Date: 25th July 1943 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 17 Squadron (RNZAF)
Type: P-40E Kittyhawk
Serial: NZ3034 - NZ3037
Base: RNZAF Whenuapai
Location: Puketutu Island (formerly Weeks Island)
Pilot: Sgt. John Galt Dickie NZ/421502 RNZAF Age 22. Baled out
Pilot: F/O. John Henry Mills NZ/401285 RNZAF Age 25. Baled out
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off on a formation flying practice with three others.
Whilst at 20,000 ft. collided on the underside of NZ3037 flown by F/O. John Henry Mills NZ/401285 at 10:15 hrs.
(Image courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)Both pilots baled out, F/O Mills landed successfully uninjured.
Sadly, Sgt. Dickie was found dead in a paddock. It appeared that he had been struck by his aircraft when abandoning. This was also the verdict given at the subsequent inquest. His body, recovered at Pakuranga sustained lacerations to his head and right shoulder apparently inflicted after the collision.
(Image courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)
Sgt. John Galt Dickie. Waverley Cemetery. Grave 22.5. Born on the 09th July 1920 in Waverley. Educated at New Plymouth Boys High School. A sheep farmer with his brothers. Enlisted at Rongotai as an aircraft hand on the 27th February 1942. To Milson on the 05th March 1942 (suburb of Palmerston North, Manawatū-Whanganui, New Zealand. Re-mustered as a driver on the 07th March 1942.
Right: His grave at Waverley, his parents buried behind. (courtesy Manzmystery)
Re-mustered as a pilot under training on the 04th September 1942. No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School on the 12th October 1942 (sick leave 09th December-26th January 1943. 1st solo flight on the 05th February 1943. With No. 2 Service Flying Training School 06th February 1943. Pilots badge awarded on the 12th April 1943. Promoted to sergeant on the 05th Jone 1953. No. 2 Operational Training Unit 12th June 1943 flying the P-40. Joined 17 squadron on the 10th July 1943.
Son of Clifford John (died 03rd July 1973, age 93) and Ida Mary Dickie (née Blennerhassett - died 12th July 1980, age 88). Brother of Arthur John Dickie (born on the 28th August 1912 - died 02nd September 2010, age 98). Eric Claude Dickie (born on the 08 June 1914 - died 03rd November 1991, age 77) and sister Sybil Dickie (died 21st August 1925, age 6 month), of Waverley, Wellington, New Zealand.
Sq/Ldr. John Henry Mills MiD. Born on the 07th November 1917 in Dunedin. Died 08th June 1988 in Auckland. age 71. Served from 07th May 1940 - 16th January 1946 - to reserves until the 11th October 1954.
MiD Awarded 01st March 1945 for meritorious service during three tours with 17 squadron flying the Kittyhawk July 1943 - July 1944. the latter two as a Flight Commander. Credited with one enemy aircraft destroyed. Fourth tour with 16 squadron as Commanding Officer July-October 1945.
Above: L-R: Rear; Hope, Rickerby, Round, Roche, Petersen, Dent, Frew, Longley, Sinclair, Robertson.
Centre; Wilson, Hickey, O'Neill, Turner, Sadgrove, Quinton, Ritchie, Speer, Gordon, Layton.
Front; Smith, Withers, Ellis, Pettigrew, DeJaunay, Bell, Cliffe, Dickie, Browne. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot, 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, Manzmystery for grave photograph, other sources as quoted below:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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