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Thread: F/Lt Donald "Don" Shakes RNZAF

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    Default F/Lt Donald "Don" Shakes RNZAF

    Hello,

    I am trying to find information on F/LT Donald “Don” Shakes RNZAF. Mainly which Squadrons he may have served with during WWII. I have a copy of an article in which he describes surviving 72 hours afloat in a dingy after ditching off the west coast of Africa after all “four motors” failed at once, and I am trying to figure out when and with which Squadron this may have occurred.. Of the twelve man crew, F/Lt Shakes being the only New Zealander on the crew, at least two or three did not survive the crash landing. Another three or so drifted away on the second day, the rest being picked up by a destroyer after 72 hours . At the time they were “doing Bomber Command convoy off the coast of West Africa”. The article appears to have been written during WWII in New York while F/Lt Shakes was enroute to New Zealand “after fighting the Nazi’s for four years” and does not mention any dates or Squadron information. From the article one can assume that the aircraft was a Sunderland, or anything else that had a crew of 12 , four engines, and depth charges. Any information will be greatly appreciated,

    Thank you,

    Mieszko

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    Mieszko

    Just a couple of bits of info.

    The event is mentioned on here (see page 305-306, or search the page for Shakes):

    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/schol...-1RAF-c14.html

    It happened in June 1942, and it was indeed a Sunderland. He is named as F/Lt D.T. Shakes, born Wellington, January 5th 1921, jpined the R.N.Z.A.F. in October 1939.

    Also, on ancestry.co.uk, he is listed in the arrivals aboard the New Zealand Shipping Co. ship 'Rangitiki', arriving in London from Auckland on June 8th 1940, aged 19, and listed under profession as 'R.A.F.' together with a load of other R.A.F. personnel.

    Regards

    Simon

    EDIT - there is also a family tree on ancestry.co.uk which gives his full name as Donald Thornton Shakes.
    Last edited by wwrsimon; 14th June 2016 at 15:49.

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    NZ391388 Donald Thornton Shakes

    He was not a member of the RAF but a member of the RNZAF on attachment to the RAF.

    He died in Lower Hutt on 31 May 2006.

    Errol

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    Hello,

    Possibly No.204 Squadron Sunderland I T9041 - Ditched on convoy patrol in South Atlantic 28-6-1942.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...-1942-(Africa)

    Photo, here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boxbrownie3/5621168581

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th June 2016 at 21:55.

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    Gentlemen,

    Thank you all very much for your outstanding replies! Just what I was looking for!

    Mieszko

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    Mieszko,
    F/L D T Shakes was detached from RAF w.e.f. 1/12/44, and on arrival from overseas (presume UK) posted to Personnel Reception Pool, Remuera (Auckland), thence posted to Non-effective Pool (Category 17), Rongotai (Wellington) 12/2/45, to No. 40 (Transport) Squadron, Whenuapai 1/3/45, for flying duties. (Latter would be navigating C-47s from Whenuapai to various South Pacific destinations on routine transport duties, passengers, mail and freight).
    Not a lot, but every little bit is supposed to help!
    David D

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