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Walter Jack Runciman



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Walter Jack AWMM
  • Surname
    Runciman AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Wally AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII NZ403991 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    22 October 1920 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) AWMM
      26 June 1942 AWMM
      Flt. Sgt. Runciman, as captain of a Stirling aircraft, has consistently pressed home his attacks and has displayed great still in flying his aircraft to base despite damage sustained. On the night of April 23rd, 1942, whilst over Denmark, he was attacked by two enemy fighters and his aircraft was so severely damaged that the crew prepared for a crash landing. In, spite of a long sea crossing, Flt. Sgt. Runciman decided to attempt to reach his base and did so successfully. By this time he had practically no aileron control ordering his crew to abandon the aircraft, he then landed it successfully. Flt. Sgt. Runciman has displayed outstanding skill, courage and determination. London Gazette 26 Jun 1942 (2819) - DFM as a pilot with 7 Squadron (Stirlings). AWMM
    • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) AWMM
      14 January 1944 AWMM
      MiD for bravery with 487 (RNZAF) Squadron Mosquitos London Gazette 14 Jan 1944 (291) AWMM
    • Air Force Cross (AFC) AWMM
      13 June 1946 AWMM
      AFC as pilot and flight commander with 168 HCU (Lancasters) London Gazette 13 Jun 1946 (2816) AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    9 June 1956 AWMMKilled in Air Accident, Cause of Death AWMM
    Killed while flying the Seamew at the RAFA display at Belfast AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Runciman was a draughtsman when he enlisted in the RNZAF in October 1940. He transferred to the RAF in July 1947 and served until 1952. On leaving the RAF he joined the Short Brothers as a test pilot. He was killed giving a demonstration flight of a Short Seamew at an air display at Sydenham, Belfast. AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    9 June 1956 AWMM
    BelfastNorthern Ireland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
    Wikipedia Page: Short Seamew
    Further Reference
  • Documents
    • Sutherland, J. (1989). Gallantry awards to New Zealanders in World War Two. Christchurch, N.Z.: Regal Medals. AWMM
    • Thompson, H. (1956). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vols. 1-3). Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
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