NZ 4044041 Flight Sergeant Norman John Newall, RNZAF
Scarce Pacific Theatre RNZAF Memorial Cross Group
The scarce Pacific theatre Memorial Cross group issued in commemoration of Norman John Newall, who was shot down and killed on 17th December 1942 during a patrol off the enemy-held coast in the Solomon Islands whilst piloting a Lockheed Hudson from No. 3 (GR) Squadron, RNZAF.
Norman Newall was born on 1st October 1921 at Dunedin, New Zealand. Son of Leonard Glover and Rosina Agnes Newall (née Hughes). He was educated at Otago Boys’ High School where he excelled at various sports. He went to study accountancy at King Edward Technical College, and was subsequently employed as a clerk by Napier Motors Ltd in Dunedin. On the outbreak of the Second World War Newall applied to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force as aircrew, but was not enlisted until November 1940, possibly due to his youthful age. He commenced his flying training in December 1940, going solo the following month. He was awarded his flying badge in March 1941 and promoted to sergeant in May. He was posted to No. 2 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron at Nelson where he flew reconnaissance and operational training sorties. He was promoted to flight sergeant in August 1942.
In December 1942 Newall was posted to No. 3 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron at Guadalcanal, flying the Hudson Mk III. 3 Squadron, at this time, were responsible for conducting daily and nightly searches of approaches to Guaduacanal and daily low-level searches along the coastlines of islands which might be used as Japanese staging points.
On 17th December 1942, Newall was captain of a Lockheed Hudson III sent on a patrol off Santa Isobel Island in the Solomons. The aircraft failed to return, and it was not until after the war that it was determined the aircraft had been shot down into Rekata Bay by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. The area where they were shot down was a Japanese seaplane base, and was well-defended.
When the missing personnel investigation unit visited Rabaul in August 1945, local missionaries said that two members of the crew had survived the crash, had swum ashore and were captured by the Japanese. One of these men died soon after and the other (likely to have been F/S David Newlands) was taken away to Rabaul and not seen again. It is unknown if the other man had been Norman Newall.
Norman Newall is commemorated on the memorial at Bourail, New Caledonia.
The group consists of the 1939/45 Star, Pacific Star, 1939/45 War Medal and the New Zealand War Service Medal – these all being issued in 1954. The Memorial Cross is correctly impressed NZ404401 F/SJT. N.J. NEWALL. Also included are a set of RNZAF wings. The memorial box comes in it's original box of issue.
RNZAF casualty groups for the Pacific are scarce on the market.