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Thread: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

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    Default Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    I'm looking for more info on the wartime service of NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham. Here's what I know already:

    -Born 3 November 1921

    -Joined RNZAF in September 1939

    -Joined 11 Squadron RAF in the Western Desert by November 1941, as a sergeant pilot. 11 Sqn was equipped with the Blenheim IV

    -Moved to Ceylon with 11 Sqn in March 1942

    -Flew one of the nine 11 Sqn aircraft which attacked Japanese aircraft carrier task force off Ceylon on 9 April 1942. His was one of the four Blenheims which survived.

    -Commissioned in July 1943

    -Promoted to flying officer in January 1944

    The additional info I'm looking for are the dates and locations of his:

    -ITS
    -EFTS
    -SFTS
    -OTU

    I'd be grateful if anyone could provide any of the info I'm looking for, or suggest where I might find it.

    Many thanks,

    Rob

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    Commissioned from WO with effect from 14 Jul 43.
    Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    From Errol Martyn's Vol 3: Embarked in Monowai on 27 Mar 41. Transshipped Vancouver 17Apr, arrived UK 18 May 41. Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    Despite his apparent "1943" service number (it is actually a 1939 Territorial Air Force number, the initial "4" indicates he was a member of one of the three prewar Territorial squadrons), he was a member of No. 5 Course at Ohakea (3 FTS), reported at Ohakea with others on 25/11/40, graduated to ATS 20/1/41, and passed out (and promoted to Sgt [on probation] on 1/3/41), then departed for overseas as noted by Terry (above). He was further promoted to rank of F/Sgt w.e.f. 1/10/41, to W/O w.e.f. 1/5/42 before being commissioned as noted above (final promotion to F/O w.e.f. 14/1/44). He enlisted 6/9/39, as AC2 ACH Gp V, with Wellington T Squadron, Blenheim, to NZGR Squadron (Whenuapai) 18?/3/40, to Levin (GTS) 1/9/40 (for flying training), as LAC A/P u/t, to 2 EFTS (New Plymouth) 28/9/40, to Ohakea (3 FTS) 25/11/40, qualified for flying badge 31/1/41. Embarked for UK 27/3/41, ex Auckland, disembarked UK (3 PRC) 19/5/41, to 17 OTU 24/5, to 139 Sqdn 24/8/41, to ME Pool (no date), to 11 Sqdn 14/10/41, to GR School @ Juhu (India) 22/7/42, to GR & ANS 10/9/43, to 1303 Flight 28/1/44, to 45 Sqdn (225 Group) 23/2/44, to ACSEA 23/2/44 (ex Ceylon), taken on strength ACSEA 9/4/44, completed No. 9 Fighter Refresher Course @ 22 APC 1 - 20/5/44; to Base HQ, Calcutta, 4/8/44, to 45 Sqdn 26/10/44, to BRD 10/3/45, c/attachment to RAF w.e.f. 19/4/45, disemb NZ (2 PDT, Wellington) 14/4/45, to NEP 16/4, (etc, also served in NZ at IFS, Whenuapai; 42 Sqdn, 2 BR Sdn, and 75 Sqdn, rtd to UK (Ferry Duty) 11/1/47 (presume for ferrying Mosquito to NZ?), tfd to Reserve ex 75 Sqdn 1/8/47, comm terminated 1/6/56. Hope this is to your satisfaction. Note that some dates, units difficult to interpret. Also note that the GTS mentioned for date 1/9/40 was roughly equivalent to ITW (although very much smaller at this stage of war!)
    Last edited by David Duxbury; 19th August 2022 at 11:19. Reason: Minor corrections.

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    From Errol Martyn's Vol 3: Embarked in Monowai on 27 Mar 41. Transshipped Vancouver 17Apr, arrived UK 18 May 41. Regards, Terry
    Terry, thanks very much for this. I presume that "transshipped" means "disembarked" in this case, as it seems more likely that he would have crossed Canada by train and embarked for the UK at probably Halifax than that he switched to another ship at Vancouver and sailed on it for the UK via the Panama Canal. I would also infer from the dates that he certainly did not attend SFTS in Canada, which implies in turn that he completed it in New Zealand and was sent to the UK for his OTU course.

    Is "For Your Tomorrow" the Martyn book you refer to?

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    David, thanks very much for your very detailed response. It provided exactly the kind of info I was looking for.


    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    Glad I could help. Caution! Some interpretations of some details in records I check can be extremely difficult (sometimes impossible) to read.

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    I did find the following:
    RTNZ wef 14 Apr 45 with wife, Patricia Una
    FO wef 14 Jan 44
    Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    Thanks very much Terry.

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    Default Re: Looking for info on NZ 439047 Rex Keith Garnham

    I'm now looking for info on the observer and WAG who flew with Garnham during the 9 April 1942 attack on the Japanese carrier task force. The former was Sgt Ronald Boltwood and the latter was Sgt LT Sutton, first name probably Leonard since he was known as Len. Both were RAFVF. Evidently Garnham, Boltwood and Sutton were crewed up at 17 OTU (where Garnham arrived on 24.5.41) and it seems that after completing their OTU course they were all posted as follows:

    24.8.41: Posted to 139 Squadron from 17 OTU.
    13.9.41: Detached to RAF Watton pending posting overseas, apparently without doing any operational flying with 139 Sqn
    ??.??.41: To Middle East Pool
    14.10.41: To 11 Sqn
    7.11.41: First operational flight with 11 Sqn

    If anyone has any additional info on Boltwood or Sutton, particularly their enrollment dates and their training prior to arriving at 17 OTU, I'd be grateful if they could share it with me.


    TIA

    Rob

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