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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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24th February 1944 487 (NZ) Squadron Mosquito FB.VI LR343 P/O. Payne

Operation: Night Flight Test

Date: 24th February 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 487 (NZ) Squadron (motto Ki te mutunga - 'Through to the end') 140 Airfield HQ. 2 Group. 2nd Tactical Air Force

Type: Mosquito FB.VI

Serial: LR343

Code: EG-?

Base: RAF Hudson, Hertfordshire

Location: North of Nuthampstead

Pilot: P/O. Raymond George Cuthbert Payne NZ/42446 RTNZAF Age 27. Killed

Nav: F/O. John Dunch McMillan NZ/415341 RNZAF Age 26. Killed


Taking part in a patrol when the Mosquito broke up in the air.

The aircraft crashed about 8 miles north of Nuthampstead in Hertfordshire, killing both crew members.

Above: Crew of Mosquito FB.VI LR343 (Courtesy Air Force Museum of New Zealand)

Burial and personal details:

P/O. Raymond George Cuthbert Payne. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.3. Also remembered on the Ashburton War Memorial. Born on the 27th December 1916 at Hororata in the South Island. Educated at Launston Primary School and then Ashburton Technical College and a keen sportsman in cricket, football and skating. Prior to service worked as contract tractor for James Giltrap of New Plymouth, now a major car distributor in New Zealand. A member of the Wigram Aero Club where in August 1939 although he had only received one lesson it kindled his desire to be a pilot. Enlisted at Levin as a pilot under training on the 12th January 1942.

Commenced training with No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School on the 08th March 1942 at Taireri. Embarked for Canada, SS Boschfontein on the10th May 1942 and attached to the RCAF on the 01st June 1942. Further training as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme with No. 3 Service Flying Training School joining on the 06th June 1942. Awarded pilots badge on the 25th September 1942 and promoted to sergeant. Promoted to flight sergeant on the 01st June 1943. Further training with No. 34 Operational Training Unit flying the Ventura aircraft 10th October 1942 at Penfield Ridge New Brunswick.

Sent by train to New York for embarkation to England on the 09th March 1943. Arrived at No. 12 Personnel Dispatch and Reception Centre in Brighton on the 16th March. Joined 487 (NZ) squadron on the 25th May 1943 flying the Ventura initially then on the Mosquito at Methwold in Norfolk. Received his commission on the 27th November 1943.

Son of Thomas George Payne a sheep farmer, originally from Durham, England (died 29th October 1943, age 79) and of Winifred Haigh Payne (nee Jebson - died 21st March 1924, age 49) of Launston, Canterbury. Nephew of Edith Ann Jebson, of Sheffield, Canterbury, New Zealand. His father remarried Margaret Ellen Payne (nee Hurst - died 09th March 1955, age 46). A total of 448 flying hours logged and completed 12 operational sorties.

F/O. John Dunch McMillan. Brookwood Military Cemetery. Grave 2.K.4. Also remembered on the Mt. Roskill War Memorial, Dilworth School Chapel Memorial Board and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Born on the 17th November 1917 at Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. Moved to New Zealand around 1924. Educated at Dilworth School and then to Dilworth University College. Worked as a clerk for the Customs Department in Auckland prior to service. Enlisted at Levin on the 28th September 1941 as a pilot under training. Joined No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School on the 09th November 1941. Pilot training terminated on the 16th December 1941 at Rongotal. Remustered as Air Observer on the 28th December 1941.

Embarked for Canada on the 12th February 1942 on the SS Boschfontein. Attached to the RCAF on the 04th March 1942. Joined No. 7 Air Observers School on the 15th March 1942 at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Then to to No. 3 Bomber Gunnery School on the 21st June 1942 at Macdonald, Manitoba. No. 1 Central Navigation School on the 16th August 1942 at Rivers, Manitoba. Air Observers badge awarded on the 21st September 1942 and received his commission. Further training with No. 34 Operational Training Unit flying the Ventura aircraft 23rd September 1942 at Penfield Ridge New Brunswick. Attached to RAF sent by train to New York and embarked for England on the 09th March 1943. Arrived at No. 11 Personnel Dispatch and Reception Centre on the 18th March 1943. Joined 487 (NZ) squadron on the 25th May 1943 flying the Ventura initially then on the Mosquito at Methwold in Norfolk.

Son of John Steen McMillan (died 16th September 1959, age 90) and Laura Elizabeth (nee Dunch - died 19th December 1942, age 68), of Royal Oak, Epsom, Auckland City, New Zealand. A total of 415 flying hours logged and completed 10 operational sorties.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Dana McNeil (relative of the pilot) the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 03-09-2021

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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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