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Percival Ernest Gronn Ford



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Percival Ernest Gronn AWMM
  • Surname
    Ford AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ391298 AWMM
    • WWII 391298 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1 March 1919 Hanson Palmerston NorthManawatu-Wanganui AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Palmerston North AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Pacific Theatre of War AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Air Force AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ391298 AWMM
    • WWII 391298 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • British Empire Medal (BEM) AWMM
      "By their extremely gallant conduct and utter disregard of the imminent danger of sever burns and other grave personal injury these two Medical Officers and this airman between them saved the life of a fighter pilot of the RNZAF who was trapped in his aircraft after it had crashed and was burining fiercely at Piva, Bougainville, on 15th September 1945. Disregarding the flames which had enveloped the cockpit and set the injured pilot's clothing alight, they succeeded in removing him to safety. Squadron Leader Whitehead and Flight Lieutenant Scriven, who were among the first to reach the aircraft which had crashed behind a revetment, showed great coolness and daring by climbing on to the wing, releasing the pilot's harness, straddling the cockpit and trying to lift him clear. Both officers were burned in an unsuccessful effort and Flight Lieutenant Scriven went in search of a fire extinguisher. Flight Sergeant Ford, the firemaster who had been off duty, and was wearing only shorts and shirt, arrived at this stage, and with Squadron Leader Whitehead's help lifted a foam heat extinguisher on to the wing and directed its contents onto the heart of the fire. Two firemen, wearing asbesto suits, were so overcome by their exertion of running and by the intense heat, that they were forced to retire and one collapsed. In spite of the intensity of the flames, fed by the contents of an auxiliary fuel-tank, Squadron Leader Whitehead, Flight Lieutenant Scriven and Flight Sergeant Ford persisted in the their efforts, and between them they finally freed the pilot and lifted him out of the danger area. They undoubtedly saved his life at the risk of their own." By Such Deeds, p. 510 AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
    Firemaster/Military AWMM
  • Enlistment
    WW2 14 November 1939 AWMM Builder/Civilian AWMM
  • 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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  • Squadron Leader Whitehead, Flight Sergeant Scriven, and Flight Sergeant Ford were all involved in saving Flight Sergeant Lyall Trevor Wiig of 16 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force, in Piva, Bougainville when his corsair ran off the runway, across a ditch and ended up 30 yards from the runway over a steep bank. They were able free the Pilot, lifting him out of danger. AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    4 May 1989 Hanson
    WhakataneEastern Bay of Plenty 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
  • 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
    p. 191 AWMM

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