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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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18 Squadron (NZ) F4U-I Corsair NZ5244 Fl/Sgt. Frederick Arthur Donaldson

Operation: Training

Date: 27th May 1944 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 18 Squadron (NZ)

Type: F4U-I Corsair

Serial: NZ5244

MSN: 4870

Base: Kukum, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

Location: As described

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Arthur Donaldson NZ/429157 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


He survived baling out of his aircraft. On or about the 18th February 1944 after being hit by enemy fire, took to his dingy and was rescued within two hours. Then, on the 22nd May 1944 lost his tail in a mid-air collision, baled out over the sea off San Cristobal and rescued within 20 minutes - no injuries on either occasion.

Taking off at 10:00 hrs on a camera gun exercise but suffered engine failure at 30 feet and crashed through Kukum Wharf at the end of the strip, going into the sea. The young New Zealander lost his life.

Kukum, Guadalcanal, Solomon Island (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Burial details:

A full military funeral in Guadalcanal but later reinterred at Bourail.

Above the funeral and original grave marker (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Fl/Sgt. Frederick Arthur Donaldson. Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery. Grave 5.30. Born at Dunedin on the 27th July 1920. Educated at King Baward Technical School, Dunedin. Worked for the Post and Telegraph Department in Auckland as a Junior Mechanician in the Auto Exchange. Enlisted on the 01st Auguste 1942 at Masterton. Pilot badge awarded on the 07th June 1943 and promoters to sergeant on the 31st July 1943. 525 flying hours logged and on his third tour of the Pacific.

Son of Richard (died on the 14th July 1961) and Emily Frances Donaldson (née Clark - died on the 17th September 1957), of Bay Road, Waitaku, Otaki, Wellington, New Zealand.

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.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding accident losses

Pages detailing RNZAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 29-09-2023

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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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