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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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RNZAF
22 Squadron Corsair F4U NZ5353/NZ5544 Mortimer/Ferrick

Operation: Night Training

Date: 15th April 1945 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 22 Squadron (NZ)

Type: Corsair F4U-I

Serial: NZ5353 / NZ5544

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Ardmore, Auckland, New Zealand

Location: Various

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Allan Mcdougall Mortimer NZ/4211865 RNZAF Age 22. Killed

Pilot: Sgt. Sefton Clyde Joseph Ferrick NZ/432197 RNZAF Age 23. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

A double tragedy for 22 squadron on this nigh:

Partway through the practice in difficult weather Fl/Sgt. Mortimer radioed that his compass had gone unserviceable. Unable to maintain course, at about 22:40 he advised that he was going to bale out. Before he could do so, NZ5353 a few minutes later flew into a ridge in the Kaiaua district near Mangatangi and burst into flames.

Fl/Sgt. Ferrick flying NZ5544, took off at 21:30 hrs but shortly after 22:00 hrs., all aircraft were recalled because of deteriorating weather. At 22:30 NZ5544 radioed for permission to join the landing circuit and requested the cloud base height.

Although the information was supplied, nothing further was heard and a wide-ranging search over the next three days could find no trace of him or his aircraft.

Over several decades many attempts have been made to find his body or aircraft with no success.

Burial and other details:

Fl/Sgt. Allan Mcdougall Mortimer. Edendale Cemetery. Grave 30.1. Born at Edendale, Southland on the 08th April 1923. Employed as a tile maker by Briscoes, Invercargill. Enlisted at Ashburt on the 19th September 1942. Remust as Aircrew under training on the 27th May 1943. Trained in Canada. Awarded his wings on the 21st April 1944 and was promoted to sergeant. He Joined 22 squadron on the 25th November 1944. A total of 559 flying hours logged with 178 on the Corsair. Completed a tour with the squadron in the South Pacific. Returned to New Zealand with the squadron on the 05th March 1945.

Son of William (died 13th November 1964, age 77) and Jane Mortimer (née Aberdeen - died 10th September 1967. age 76), of Brydone, Southland, New Zealand

Above left: Fl/Sgt. Allan Mcdougall Mortimer. Right: Sgt. Sefton Clyde Joseph Ferrick

Sgt. Sefton Clyde Joseph Ferrick. Wellington Provincial Memorial. Born at Havera on the 22nd February 1922. Educated at St.Patrick's College and New Plymouth Technical School. Transferred from the Army on the 19th February 1943, and posted to Omaka for ground duties with the RNZAF. After training on the 15th April 194, he was awarded the flying badge and promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Joined 22 squadron on the 25th November 1944 at Armore. Later while serving in the Pacific, he was further promoted to Flight Sergeant on the 15th October 1944. Embarked for his second operational tour on the 12th December, serving at Emirau, until repatriated on the 5th March1945. After a period of leave, he was posted to Ardmore for duty and flew Corsair aircraft.

Son of Allan Clyde (died 10th May 1971, age 78) and Marguerita Mary Gertrude Ferrick (née Kirby - died 21st May 1941). Husband of Ngaire Elizabeth Ferrick (née Day) , of 70 Cambridge Street, Ashburton, Canterbury, 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, Wings Over New Zealand.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding training accidents

Pages detailing RNZAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 06-09-2023

Pages of Outstanding Interest
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Acknowledgements
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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