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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
2 SFTS Harvard II NZ964 LAC. John Ronald Scott Orbell

Operation: Training

Date: 18th August 1942 (Tuesday)

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

Type: Harvard II

Serial: NZ964

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Woodbourne, New Zealand

Location: Missing

Pilot: LAC. John Ronald Scott Orbell NZ/417098 RNZAF Age 24. Missing - believed killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

During a solo aerobatic practice in fine weather taking off at 07:55 hrs for an hour-long flight and to keep within 12-mile radius of the base and he simply failed to return.

Although extensive searches were carried out involving 50 flights no trace could be found.

Burial details:

LAC. John Ronald Scott Orbell. Otago Provincial Memorial. Born on the 08th July 1918 in Oamaru. Educated at Waitaki Boys High School and Christ's College in Christchurch. A traveller for National Mortgage and Agency Company in Oamaru. Enlisted at Leven on the 21st December 1941 as a pilot under training. With No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School 07th February 1942. No. 2 Service Flying Training School on the 02nd May 1942 flying the Harvard. The pilot badge was awarded on the 27th of July 1942. 07 solo flying hours were logged with 62 on the Harvard.

Son of Dr. Ronald Graeme Scott Orbell (served in WW1 3/827 - died 28th April 1956, age 81) and Mary Gledhill Orbell (née Pitcairn - died 02nd May 1937, age 54) of 46 Reed Street, Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand.

Above L-R: Rear; Trappitt, Paterson, Gibbons, R.W Gray, Bullen, Sladen, Green, O'Donnell, Rogers, Blair.
3rd row; Nairn, Manz, McMaster, Coppersmith, Orbell, Polsen, Dobbs, Avery, Doel, A.G Stanley, Hogan, Blake.
2nd row; Mawley, Speedy, Smart, Hanna, Highet, Laurie, Angud, Law, Mulligan, Sinclair, Burt.
Front; H.K Anderson, M.C Stanley, Currin, Robertson, F. Thomson, Weston, Ferrier, Lowe, Lippitt, Earl. (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 09-08-2022

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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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