RNZAF Lockheed Ventura

Figure 1
On June 25, 1944, an ordinary weather test flight for one Royal New Zealand Air Force crew turned out rather unexpectedly. The plane was a Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, NZ4556, of No. 3 Bomber-Reconnaissance (BR) Squadron and it’s flight path was from Espiritu Santo to Guadalcanal. The plane suddenly developed serious port engine trouble near San Cristobal Island and in minutes was forced to make a water landing off the Southern tip of Malaita Island in a rough sea. This would be the first of two RNZAF Ventura aircraft archaeological sites on Malaita island (See also Site MALA28). The image above depicts a pair of RNZAF Venturas flying along New Georgia Island in the Western Solomons in late 1943. [As published p. 93, “RNZAF: The First Decade” by Charles Darby, 1978).

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