Alan Allister MacPherson

Alan Allister MacPherson

Male 1917 - 1945  (28 years)

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  • Name Alan Allister MacPherson 
    Born 1917  Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Registration Number: 1917/424
      Family Name: Macpherson
      Given Name(s): Alan Allister
      Mother's Given: Edith May
      Name(s) Father's Given: Allister Ewen
      (Births, Deaths and Marriages Online, New Zealand Government)

    Gender Male 
    Died 24 Sep 1945  New Caledonia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Flying Officer Alan Allister MACPHERSON (2323) of the Royal New Zealand Air Force
      Death of Death 1945-09-24 Age : 28 years.

      Aircraft Accident / Loss Entry
      Aircraft Name: Dakota C-47B NZ 3526 Date of Crash: 24 Sep 45 Unit 40 Sqdn RNZAF Airfield /Crash Location , New Caledonia

      Served in 40 Sqdn RNZAF

      Burial/Commemoration Details : Panel 4. at Bourail Memorial, New Caledonia

      Aircraft Name: Dakota C-47B NZ 3526
      Date of Crash: 24 Sep 45
      Unit 40 Sqdn RNZAF
      Airfield /Crash Location , New Caledonia

      EW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
      R.N.Z.A.F DOUGLAS DAKOTA (D.C.3.) AIR CRASH
      EN ROUTE TO NEW ZEALAND FROM ESPIRITU SANTO, VANUATU [NEW HEBRIDES]
      TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 1945

      A Douglas Dakota (D.C.3) carrying 20 Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel was lost enroute to New Zealand from Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. This air accident still remains the heaviest single loss in RNZAF history.

      From - Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 227, 25 September 1945, Page 6

      Since 10.8 yesterday morning (New Zealand time) there has been no word of a Douglas Dakota aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Transport Command, which was due at Whenuapai airfield at 3.40 p.m. Carrying 20 members of the R.N.Z.A.F., the plane left Espiritu Santo, in the New Hebrides, about 6 a.m., and is thought to have been in the vicinity of New Caledonia when last heard of.
      The plane communicated with Norfolk Island by radio during the morning and called for a direction-finding bearing at 10.8 a.m. At that time she was reported 330 miles east of north of Norfolk. Nothing has been heard from her since. The normal procedure is for planes to give their position every half-hour.
      Aircraft from Norfolk Island and New Caledonia were dispatched for the search and extensive searches were carried out from New Zealand, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and New Hebrides. Sixteen planes were engaged in the search.

      From - Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 227, 25 September 1945, Page 6
      Flying-Officer Alan Allister MACPHERSON ? 28 years - Mrs MacPherson, Christchurch (mother) [Son of Lt. Allister Ewen Macpherson and Edith May Macpherson, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand]

      Mon 24 Sep 1945
      SOUTH PACIFIC
      Transport flight from Pallikulo, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, to Whenuapai
      40 Squadron, RNZAF (Whenuapai)
      Douglas C-47B Dakota NZ3526 - took off at 0530 and failed to arrive. Routine radio communication was maintained until 0906, when a ?standby, standby? message was sent from the aircraft. The Norfolk Island receiving station acknowledged this and called back a few minutes later, but there was no reply. Nothing further was heard or seen of the transport or its four crew and 16 passengers, despite a large scale search undertaken by Catalina, Dakota, Hudson and Liberator aircraft over several days. All of the missing are commemorated on the Bourail Memorial. An aircraft following 25 minutes behind later reported that it had encountered very turbulent air conditions at approximate latitude 22.5 south, and had to climb to avoid them. It was thought most likely that NZ3526 had suffered a catastrophic structural failure on encountering similar weather. The 20 deaths associated with the disappearance of NZ3526 represent the largest loss of life incurred by the RNZAF in a single day.
      Captain: NZ401383 Fg Off Jack Arthur HOFFEINS, RNZAF - Age 24. 1190+hrs (590+ solo on Dakota)
      Flight Engineer: NZ405126 Cpl John Douglas JACOBS, RNZAF - Age 26. 803+hrs. 116 ops.
      Navigator: NZ425270 Fg Off Kenneth McARTHUR, RNZAF - Age 28.
      Wireless Op: NZ412981 Plt Off Clifton Charles KENNEDY, RNZAF - Age 25. 1405+hrs. 109 ops.
      (Flight Mechanic): NZ427114 LAC Oswald Ferguson BATH, RNZAF - Age 32.
      (Signals Officer): NZ39447 Flt Lt Wilfred Francis COULSON, RNZAF - Age 38.
      (Driver): NZ438348 LAC Harry FAINE, RNZAF - Age 25.
      (Armament Officer): NZ402681 Fg Off Douglas FARR, mid, RNZAF - Age 25.
      (Armourer): NZ4312786 LAC George FIRMAN, RNZAF - Age 22.
      (Fire Crew): NZ391404 Cpl Edmund Eaton GOSSLING, RNZAF - Age 34.
      (Armourer): NZ425982 LAC John Barnard GRENFELL, RNZAF - Age 23.
      (CS&MW*): NZ411716 Cpl Frank Graham HALDANE, RNZAF - Age 35.
      (Aircrafthand): NZ441345 LAC Frederick John KEARNEY, RNZAF - Age 22.
      (Intelligence Officer): NZ2323 Fg Off Alan Allister MACPHERSON, RNZAF - Age 28.*********
      (Mechanic MT): NZ416736 LAC David John REID, RNZAF - Age 26.
      (Disciplinarian): NZ391186 Flt Sgt Reginald Bernard RUSSELL, RNZAF - Age 41.
      (Carpenter): NZ4214285 LAC Ralph Gordon SAVAGE, RNZAF - Age 36.
      (Patrolman): NZ442296 LAC Raymond Jonathan TAYLOR, RNZAF - Age 22.
      (Wireless Mechanic): NZ436105 LAC Douglas Stanley THOMAS, RNZAF - Age 20.
      (Intelligence Clerk): NZ4210354 Cpl Marshall Harry WILSON, RNZAF - Age 21.
      * Coppersmith & Metal Worker
      Crew: - Hoffeins had served in the Middle East, first as a fighter pilot with 213 Sqn, RAF, and later on ferrying and transport duties with 216 Group. His operational hours amounted to 70, but the number of sorties is unknown.
      Jacobs, returning from a tour of duty in the South Pacific which he had completed on Guadalcanal, was a Fitter IIE by trade and acting as flight engineer on the flight, the regular flight engineer having been left behind, sick.
      McArthur and Kennedy had each completed two South Pacific tours.
      Passengers: - including 13 South Islanders, were all returning to New Zealand at the end of their South Pacific tours. Macpherson, Reid and Wilson were at the end of their second tour, the others their first. Farr had previously served in Britain, including a year with 489 Sqn, RNZAF.
      The passengers last known postings were as follows: - Bath (2 Servicing Unit), Coulson (Jacquinot Bay), Faine (1 Islands Works Sqn), Farr (3SU), Firman (3SU), Gossling (31SU), Grenfell (3SU), Haldane (Field Maintenance Unit), Kearney (1 Islands Works Sqn), Macpherson (17 Sqn), Reid (ZEAIRTAF), Russell (ZEAIRTAF), Savage (FMU), Taylor (3SU), Thomas (3SU) and Wilson (17 Sqn
    Buried Panel 4. at Bourail Memorial, New Caledonia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) New Caledonia

      Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Bourail War Cemetery) New Caledonia

      Bourail Memorial
      Bronze plaques comprised of panels that listing the names of New Zealand personnel listed as Missing In Action (MIA) in the Pacific during World War II.


    Person ID I16379  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 21 May 2020 

    Father Allister Ewen/ McEwen MacPherson,   b. 8 Jan 1892, Christchurch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1918, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 26 years) 
    Mother Edith May Smith,   b. 1893, Christchurrch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Dec 1970, Christchurrch, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 1916  Christchurch, New Zezland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Registration Number: 1916/7671
      Bride's Given: Edith May
      Name(s) Bride's Family: Smith
      Name Groom's Given: Allister Ewen
      Name(s) Groom's Family: Macpherson
      (Births, Deaths and Marriages Online, New Zealand Government)
    Family ID F5859  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Royal New Zealand Air Force
Flying Officers
    Royal New Zealand Air Force Flying Officers
    Flying Officer MACPHERSON, ALAN ALLISTER

    Service Number 2323

    Died 24/09/1945

    Aged 28

    Royal New Zealand Air Force

    Son of Lt. Allister Ewen Macpherson and Edith May Macpherson, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.


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