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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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2 OTU Harvard IIA NX1911 Sgt, John Edwin Dornbusch

Operation: Training

Date: 16th November 1942 (Monday)

Unit: No. 2 Operational Training Unit (NZ)

Type: Harvard IIA

Serial: NZ1011

MSN: 88-9268

Base: RNZAF Ohakea, New Zealand

Location: Mount Stewart

Pilot: Sgt. John Edwin Dornbusch NZ/417038 RNZAF Age 23. Killed


Taking off at about 23:00 hrs on a solo night flying exercise when it was seen 30 minutes later carrying out aerobatics.

After executing a half roll NZ1011 dived into the ground and caught fire near Mt Stewart, about 4 miles west of Feilding. The young New Zealand pilot was killed.

This Harvard was previously EX189 - shipped to New Zealand on the 'Waiotapu' in September 1942 and assembled at Hobsonville. Then to No. 2 Operational Training Unit (NZ).

Burial and other details:

Sgt. John Edwin Dornbusch. Wellington Cemetery (Karori). Grave 39. E/3. (S). Born in Wellington on the 4th November 1919. Educated at Wellington Technical College. Employed by New Zealand Slippers Limited at Lower Hutt. Enlisted in Levin on the 21st December 1941. Joined 2 Service Flying Training School on the 04th April 1942. Awarded his wings on the 15th June 1942 and promoted to sergeant on the 17th of October 1942. Then posted to 2 Operational Training Unit. 184 solo flying hours logged with 152 on the Harvard.

Son of William Adolph Edwin and Minnie Dornbusch, of 15 McPhee Street, Dannevirke, Hawke's Bay, 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 15-10-2023

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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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