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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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4 EFTS Tiger Moth II NZ680 LAC. Frank Robert Traynor

Operation: Solo training

Date: 06th March 1941 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School

Type: Tiger Moth II

Serial: NZ680

Code: -

Base: RNZAF Whenuapai

Location: Ōtāhuhu

Pilot: LAC. Frank Robert Traynor NZ/402529 RNZAF Age 19. Killed.


Aircraft history:

de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth MSN 83532 (Gipsy Major #83693) Taken on charge as T5781 and shipped directly to New Zealand on the SS Rangitiki on the 16th August 1940. Taken on charge by RNZAF as NZ680 at Rongotai 11th November 1940. To 4 EFTS Whenuapai by 01st January 1941.

Whilst carrying out aerobatics at 3000 feet a loop was completed at 16:10 hrs. After levelling out part of the wing was seen to disintegrate and fold back another portion came away and fell to the ground some 2 miles away.

The aircraft crashed catching fire in an open space between two houses at Kaka Street, near the Ōtāhuhu railway workshops, killing the young New Zealand pilot.

The cause of the crash was a failure of a front flying wire through fault manufacture at the British factory.

Above L-R: Frank Robert, Ada (mother), Dorothy Ada (sister) and Frank Edgar (father) (Courtesy Michael, a relative of the family)

Burial details:

LAC. Frank Robert Traynor. Papatoetoe Presbyterian Churchyard (St. John's). Grave C. 102. Born on the 17th April 1921 in Bangalore, India. Educated at Wanganui Collegiate. A cheese tester for New Zealand Dairy Company at East Tamaki. Served in the territorial army for 21c months. Enlisted at Hobsonville as an aircraft hand on the 15th of July 1940. Re-mustered as a pilot under training on the 02nd December 1940. With No. 4 Elementary Flying Training School on the 19th January 1941. 1st solo on the 06th February 1941.

Son of Frank Edgar (died on the 15th September 1965, age 80) and Ada Traynor (née Dale - died 21st June 1967, age 80), of Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand.

L-R: Rear; Ivan Clarence Hugh Sullivan NZ/404990, Frank Vernon Watkins NZ/404847 ✝, Keith Williamson Morrison ✝ NZ/404396, Reginald Sidney Lees ✝ NZ/404907, James Francis Sheridan NZ/404952, Henry Twite Sturt ✝ NZ/404963, R.E Scott, Howard Arthur Crafts NZ/404901.
Centre; Gerald Edmond Rawson NZ/404943 ✝, Brian Thomas Verry NZ/404971, P.S Voss, Ivan Reid Mitchell NZ/404921 ✝, Roy Oldfield Calvert NZ/404890, Valentine Stuart Moore NZ/404924 ✝(C 10 5N-ABD crash. DSO, DFC, DFM), Brian Joseph O'Connor NZ/404933 ✝, J.J Richardson.
Front; Charles Napier Richards NZ/404846, Trevor Bernard Robertson NZ/404948 ✝, T.H Morgan, Colin Valentine McPherson NZ/404912 ✝, George Rattray NZ/404409, Frank Robert Traynor NZ/402525 ✝, Mervyn James Taylor NZ/404965 ✝, Thomas Donald Gordon Murray NZ/404925 ✝. (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, Frangipani for grave photographs, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 26-07-2022

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