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Osric Hartnell White



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Osric Hartnell AWMM
  • Surname
    White AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ415807 AWMM
    • WWII 415807 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    21 February 1914 Hanson ChristchurchCanterbury Hanson
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 11 Cliff St, Moncks Bay, Christchurch AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Air Force AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ415807 AWMM
    • WWII 415807 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) AWMM
      "This airman was the pilot of an aircraft detailed to attack Berlin one night in August 1943. When nearing the target, the aircraft was illuminated by searchlights and repeatedly hit by anti-aircraft fire, sustaining damage to the port main plane. Despite this, Flight Sergeant White continued his bombing run but was attacked a fighter. The bomber was hit by the attackers gunfire which wrecked the rear turret, killing the gunner, and causing the aircraft to dive out of control directly over the target. Nevertheless, Flight Sergeant White released the bombs and succeeded in regaining control. Considerable height had been lost but this pilot coolly and skilfully flew clear of the target area and course was set for base. Much essential equipment had been rendered useless but, with unerring skill, Flight Sergeant White flew the badly damaged bomber to base. His courage, tenacity and devotion to duty set an example of the highest order." By Such Deeds, p. 509 AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
    Pilot Hanson
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Salesman/Civilian Hanson
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • From the Official History of the Royal Air Force Vol 2. "That same night [23 August 1943] Flight Sergeant White and his crew had a particularly hazardous flight. Approaching Berlin their Stirling was coned by searchlights and then repeatedly hit by flak. One shellburst shattered the rear turret and killed the rear gunner. There was also damage to the fuselage and controls. Suddenly the anti-aircraft fire died away and a Junkers 88 came in to attack. White began to make evasive turns but the damaged elevators caused his machine to dive out of control in steep turns. He thereupon ordered his crew to ‘Prepare to abandon aircraft.’ Unfortunately, three members of the crew, including the navigator, apparently mistook the order and baled out. Meanwhile White had jettisoned his bomb load while still in the dive and eventually he managed to regain a measure of control. Then, although still engaged by searchlights and anti-aircraft guns, he succeeded in getting clear of the target area. White and the two remaining members of his crew thereupon took stock of the damage and decided that they would attempt the long flight back – no mean feat without a navigator. Fortunately White had been a keen yachtsman in New Zealand and had some knowledge of navigation. He flew northwards and then across Denmark, where he succeeded in pinpointing the Stirling's position and set course across the North Sea. The crippled bomber finally reached the English coast, but on arrival over his home airfield White found that the radio equipment, undercarriage and flap gear were useless. Despite this he achieved a safe crash-landing clear of the runway." p. 97-8. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    10 September 1982 Hanson
    ChristchurchCanterbury Hanson
  • 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
    'New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force' part of The Official History of New Zelaand in the Second World War 1939-1945, New Zealand Electronic Text Collection
    Further Reference
  • References
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. 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
      vol. 2, p. 98 AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      vol 3. p, 605 AWMM

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