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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 squadron RNZAF
2 Squadron RNZAF Hudson III NZ2029 F/O. Dean Rainsford Horrocks

Operation: Air firing exercise

Date: 29th September 1942 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 2 Squadron RNZAF (motto: Whakatopa Kia Mate - We Swoop to Kill)

Type: Hudson III

Serial: NZ2029

Code: -

Base: Nelson, New Zealand

Location: Tasman Bay, New Zealand

Pilot: F/O. Dean Rainsford Horrocks NZ/412234 RNZAF Age 20. Died

Obs: W/O. James Alexander Colway NZ/40735 RNZAF Age ? Survived

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Vincent Charles Hill NZ/38248 RNZAF Age 23. Died

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jack Gilbert Bryson NZ/414856 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Victor Newell Chapple NZ/414861 RNZAF Age 21. Missing - believed killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Gordon Francis Stevens NZ/414894 RNZAF Age 27. Missing - believed killed

Armourer: AC1. John Gordon Davis NZ/416787 RNZAF Age 32. Missing - believed killed


Flying low over Tasman Bay when at about 15:55 hrs. 5 miles off Motueka a propeller struck the water causing extreme vibration. The pilot managed to climb to about 200 ft. before it lost height. F/O. Horrocks crash landed the Hudson in the bay all the crew survived this.

Within 30 seconds the aircraft sank, taking with it the dingy. All the crew were wearing lifejackets except W/O. Colway. After about 20 minutes one was dropped to him by another aircraft. He was picked up after about two hours in the water - none of the others survived.

The bodies of F/O. Horrocks and Sgt. Hill were later recovered, but the other 4 have no known graves. W/O. Colway from Masterton, recovered from shock and hypothermia in hospital.

Burial details:

F/O. Dean Rainsford Horrocks. Devonport Cemetery (O'Neill's Point). Block G, Grave 226. Born on the 06th March 1922 at Takapuna. An architectural student with H.L. Massey prior to enlisting on the 13th April 1941. Son of the late Lindsay Robert Brownlow Horrocks (died the previous year on the 14th September 1941, age 57), and Minnie Robina Horrocks (née Frater - died 16th December 1973, age 87), of 27 St. Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland City, New Zealand. A total of 409 flying hours logged with 159 solo and 28 of these on the Hudson.

Note: He had 4 brothers, 3 of whom served overseas; Lt. Peter Lindsay Horrocks 64904 30 Infantry Battalion. Passed away on the 27th July 1988 age 75. Lt/Col. John Brownlow Horrocks MC. CBE. 428519 New Zealand Artillery, 5 Field Regiment. Passed away on the 16th September 2003 age 83. Maj. James Ainsworth Horrocks (Territorial) Royal New Zealand Artillery, 1 Field Regiment. Passed away on the 16th May 2015 age 89. Cpt. Robert Edgeworth Horrocks MC. 25200 21 Infantry Battalion killed on the 28th November 1943 at Sangro River, Italy, age 27.

Sgt. Vincent Charles Hill. Christchurch Cemetery (Bromley) Grave 3. 3E. Born on the 23rd January 1919 at Dunedin. Worked as a private secretary at Tai Tapu Dairy Company. Enlisted on the 01st December 1938. Son of Charles Vincent Hill, and of Lena Hill (née Collins), of St. Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. A total of 508 flying hours logged.

Sgt. Jack Gilbert Bryson. Canterbury Provincial Memorial. Born on the 12th July 1918 at Dunedin. A store man for Atlantic Union Oil prior to service. Enlisted in the RNZAF on the 31st August 1941. Son of Peter and Margaret Wilson Bryson (née Dickson), of St. Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sgt. Victor Newell Chapple. Wellington Provincial Memorial. Born on the 06th May 1921 at Hawera. A farm hand for W.W. Nicholas prior to enlisting on the 30th August 1941. Son of Charles George and Myrtle Grace Chapple (née Newell), of Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand.

Sgt. Gordon Francis Stevens. Wellington Provincial Memorial. Born on the 31st January 1915 at New Plymouth. Enlisted on the 30th August 1941. Worked as a self employed Grocer prior to service. Son of Francis and Mabel Stevens (née Mills) and husband of Joyce Ellen Stevens (née Feakins and later Murphy), of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.

AC1. John Gordon Davis. Wellington Provincial Memorial. Born on the 15th February 1910 at Ashburton. A grocer for Maypole Stores prior to enlisting on the 05th December 1941. Son of John Llewellyn and Emily Davis (née Gerrard) of Wanganui, New Zealand.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 24-01-2021

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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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