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Thread: Flying Officer James Serge Gow 82nd Squadron Died 2 Dec 1952 Benson

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    Default Flying Officer James Serge Gow 82nd Squadron Died 2 Dec 1952 Benson

    My uncle, James Serge Gow is a New Zealander, who was a Flying Officer in the 82nd Squadron after WWII and served in Africa doing aerial survey work. While there he met an English nurse (Mavis Ellen Hay) who was working in Kenya. They returned to England in 1952 when the squadron's aerial survey work was completed but he was killed on December 2, 1952 when the Lancaster (RA803) he was flying crashed near Benson during a training flight. At the time of his death Mavis Ellen Hay was pregnant and gave birth to a son (Jamie) early in 1953. Unfortunately she had to give Jamie up for adoption as she needed to return to Kenya to complete her contract. I first knew of this when I was doing some research on the internet prior to a visit to London and Scotland in 2009 but it was timely as I was able to make contact with Jamie during the trip and we were able to meet while we were in London.

    I would be interested to hear from anyone with additional information regarding my uncle and would be particularly interested in any information about Mavis. I have not been able to find any information on her life and whether she is still alive or not.

    During the war, my uncle served with the RNZAF and was involved in training pilots in Canada. It has also been difficult to find information on his time there.

    Thanks.

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    Note:
    FreeBMD has him as:
    Deaths Dec qtr 1952, GOW, James G, 29, Ploughley, 6b 974
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 22nd February 2017 at 15:26. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
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    Hello

    Here is his entry on the AFM:

    http://veterans.mod.uk/roll-of-honou...SerialNo=R2571

    Col.

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    Anthony,

    Many thanks for drawing to my attention the name of your uncle. I am the author of the trilogy For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (pub 1998, 1999 and 2008) but was unaware of JSG's death at the time.

    For your information, he first joined the New Zealand domestic airline, Union Airways Ltd, on 31 Jan 41.

    He then enlisted in the RNZAF at Nelson on 30 Oct 42 as an NZ4214152 Aircraftman 2nd class in the 'trade' of Aircrafthand (Aerodrome Defence Unit). At the time trainee aircrew were usually posted to ADU duty pending entry into the Initial Training Wing which was then followed by Elementary Flying Training School.

    On 4 Oct 43 he embarked on the Nieuw Amsterdam (I mention the ship name as this particular info is not normally found on airmen's service records) for Canada where he graduated as a pilot at a Service Flying Training School.

    You can request a free copy of his RNZAF service papers from Personnel Records, New Zealand Defence Force, though it usually takes some months these days because of the upsurge in requests they have to deal with in connection with the 100th anniversaries of WWI. For more details see:

    http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/personnel-records/nzdf-archives/

    I presume you already have obtained a copy of his postwar RAF service record?

    I would be most interested myself to learn more about JSG's career in due course. I can be contacted directly at errol.martyn@xtra.co.nz

    Regards,
    Errol

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    Hi Errol:

    Thanks for your very helpful response, which has filled in some gaps in my knowledge. I have requested a copy of my uncles RNZAF records and as you mentioned, they are busy at the moment so we will see when I get them. I don't have his RAF records but I'll check with Jamie as he probably has them. I have found that he was promoted to Pilot Officer (temp) on April 6, 1945 and Flying Officer (temp) on Oct 6, 1945. He travelled from Auckland for London on the Rangitata, arriving on 23 Oct 1946 and I guess he then joined the RAF.

    I'll let you know what else I can find out.

    Regards
    Tony

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    Hi Col:

    Thank you for the link. I appreciate the help.

    Regards
    Tony

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    Hi Peter:

    Thanks for the information. I appreciate the help.

    Regards
    Tony

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    Tony, The link for his Appointment to a Commission in the RAF: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/4479
    Terry

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