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Last updated: 27 September 2010

Reid, Leading Aircraftman David John - Letters

Collection | Ref # 2010/336 | Held by Air Force Museum of New Zealand

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Reid, Leading Aircraftman David John - Letters


Reid, Leading Aircraftman David John

Level of description:



7 letters

Reference number:



Collection of letters written by LAC David John Reid (NZ416736) while stationed at Espiritu Santos, to his parents in Wellington, August-September 1945.

The letters contain mostly personal and anecdotal material; of special interest are descriptions of VJ Day celebrations on the island, and sentiments expressed at news of the end of the War.

David Reid was a motor mechanic in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and was attached to New Zealand Air Task Force (ZEAIRTAF) in the Pacific at the time of the Japanese surrender that ended World War Two.

He was one of 16 passengers who was killed while returning home on 40 Squadron RNZAF Dakota NZ3526, on 24 September 1945. NZ3526 never arrived, and no trace of the aircraft or its 20 crew and passengers were ever found. It remains the largest loss of life in a single day in the RNZAF. The lost airmen are commemorated on the Bourail Memorial in New Caledonia.

Dates covered:

1945 - 1945



Physical characteristics:

Manuscript letters, ink pen on paper.

Access conditions:

There may be some restrictions on this material. Contact the Museum Archives staff for further details.

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Associated with:


Wellington (Region) · Espiritu Santos



World War, 1939-1945 · Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) · Motor Mechanic · Letters · VJ Day · Pacific Theatre (World War Two) · Repatriation · Servicemen · Air Accidents · Douglas Dakota · 40 Squadron RNZAF

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