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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 SFTS Harvard II NZ949 P/O. Gerald Temple Odlin

Operation: Training

Date: 18th December 1942 (Friday)

Unit: No. 2 Service Flying Training School (ATS)

Type: Harvard II

Serial: NZ949

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Woodbourne

Location: Cook Strait

Pilot (Inst): P/O. Gerald Temple Odlin NZ/421087 RNZAF Age 26. Missing - believed killed

Pilot (U/T): LAC. William Walker Johnson NZ/411034 RNZAF Age 29. Missing - believed killed


On a navigation exercise between Woodbourne and Ohakea.

Last seen at 13:35 hrs. descending through cloud in a spin. They failed to recover and the Harvard crashed into the Cook Strait just off Paraparaumu Beach. Neither body was recovered.

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Gerald Temple Odlin. Provincial Memorial, Auckland. Born on the 04th September 1916 in Wellington. Educated at Auckland Grammar School. A clerk/carpenter for Lang, Freeth and Company timber merchants at Glen Eden, Auckland. Enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on the 08th February 1942. With No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School on the 06th April 1942. No. 2 Service Flying Training School on the 13th June 1942 then as a staff pilot from the 05th December 1942. Pilot badge awarded on the 02nd September 1942. Commissioned on the 28th November 1942. 136 solo hrs logged with 101 on the Harvard.

Son of Alfred Ernest (died 22nd July 1969, age 88)and Margaret Jane Odlin (née Mitchell - died 05th September 1963, age 83) of Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand.

LAC. William Walker Johnson. Provincial Memorial, Auckland. Born on the 19th of November 1913 in Leeds, England. Educated at Cockburn High School, Leeds. Moved to New Zealand in May 1939. A journalist for Bay of Plenty Times in Tauranga. Enlisted at Hobsonville as an aircraft hand on the 11th of February 1941. Re-mustered as a pilot under training on 29th September 1941. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 08th November 1941. Sick leave from 25th November - 06th January 1942. With No. 1 Service Flying Training School 04th April 1942. Training delayed, illness? With No 2 Service Flying Training School 05th September 1942. Pilot badge awarded 0n the 30th November 1942

Son of Harry (died 1956, age 65) and Ethel Johnson (née Webster - died 1970, age 75) of Leeds, Yorkshire, England.

Above L-R: Rear; Pirie, Seymour, McPherson, Ludni, Jolly, Humphrie, Denholm, Edwards, Hague, Marchant.
Centre; Koford (Kofoed?), Willis, Bell, Russell, Antcliffe, Freeman, Turner, Sharp, Dockery, Odlin, Bradley, L. Williams.
Front; Gotlieb, Ayson, D. Williams, Chewings, McKenzie, Scott, Friis (Priis), O.Meara, Tilyard, Vickers. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

Above L-R: Rear; C.R Piper, R.M Brown, R.B Hamilton, I.A Robertson, L.H Bunt, E.J Goodall, R.A Smith.
Centre; R.A Southward, G. Henderson, W.H Whitworth, E.J.M Gunther, W.W Johnson, H.L Stuart.
Front; G.C Salt, J.D Fraser, C.F Clements, G.H Treasure, G.A McDonald, J.W Stewart, A.R.H Stevenson. (Courtesy Air Museum of New Zealand)

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 13-08-2022

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