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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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17 Squadron RNZAF P-40 Kittyhawk NZ3014 Sgt. McMaster

Operation: Training

Date: 18th January 1943 (Monday)

Unit: No. 17 Squadron RNZAF

Type: P-40 E-1 Kittyhawk

Serial: NZ3014

Code: JZ-?

Base: RNZAF Seagrove

Location: Clarkes Beach

Pilot: Sgt. Douglas Graham McMaster NZ/42431 RNZAF Age 21. Killed


During a formation practice exercise, the pilot changed position at 12:05 hrs.

He passed to close to NZ3018 flown by F/O. Lionel Recklaw Renolds NZ/401289, his propeller sliced through NZ3014 just behind the cockpit. Both aircraft crashed, NZ3014 in flames. F/O. Reynolds baled out and survived with minor injuries. But Sgt. McMaster was killed.

Burial and other details:

Sgt. Douglas Graham McMaster. Christchurch Cemetery (Waimairi). Grave 46.18. Born on the 18th of April 1921 at Timaru. Educated at Christchurch Boys High School. Insurance inspector for New Zealand Insurance Company. Served 3 years in the territorial army. Enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on 12th January 1942. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 08th March 1942. No. 2 Service Flying Training School 02nd May 1942. Pilot badge awarded on the 27th of July 1942 and promoted to sergeant on the 17th of October 1942. Joined 17 squadron on the 02nd November 1942. 217 solo flying hours logged with 17 on the P-40.

Son of Ailsa Jack Humphreys McMaster (died 07th January 1939) and Kathleen McMaster (née Holmes), of 78 Hinau Street, Riccarton, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Above L-R: Rear; Trappitt, Paterson, Gibbons, RW Gray, Bullen, Sladen, Green, O'Donnell, Rogers, Blair.
3rd row; Nairn, Manz, McMaster, Coppersmith, Orbell, Polsen, Dobbs, Avery, Doel, AG Stanley, Hogan, Blake.
2nd row; Mawley, Speedy, Smart, Hanna, Highet, Laurie, Angud, Law, Mulligan, Sinclair, Burt.
Front; HK Anderson, MC Stanley, Currin, Robertson, F Thomson, Weston, Ferrier, Lowe, Lippitt, Earl. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Sq/Ldr. Lionel Recklaw Renolds NZ/401289, survived the war. He was born on the 12th of August 1920 in Wellington, New Zealand.

DFC citation :-

'Extreme enthusiasm and keen devotion to duty have been displayed by this squadron commander in providing tactical and strategic support for Australian troops operating against the Japanese on Bougainville. By his personal courage and exemplary leadership, Squadron Leader Renolds has made his unit outstanding and has personally led his squadron in many fighter-bomber attacks noteworthy for their accuracy. In addition to his normal duties, he has voluntarily made many reconnaissance flights to locate fresh targets. He has led to them not only his own unit but on occasion medium bombers as well, these attacks resulting in heavy losses in equipment to the enemy. Squadron Leader Renolds has made four tours in the Pacific and has flown 418 Operational hours in 193 missions. Arriving with the second RNZAF fighter squadron in June 1943, he destroyed one aircraft and damaged another. He is a most capable and valuable young officer whose courage and leadership have been responsible for building his squadron into one of exceptional merit'.

MiD citation :-

'For meritorious service. This officer, who has completed three tours in the Solomons area, has been highly successful as a flight commander. The Manner in which he has led his pilots on fighter-bomber missions in the face of fierce anti-aircraft fire, making accurately judged attacks on enemy installations, has won his superior's praise. Flight Lieutenant Renolds has one enemy aircraft destroyed to his credit, and another damaged and has consistently displayed leadership and courage'.

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”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 22-09-2022

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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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