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Gerald Curtis Wright

Preliminary record

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  • Title
  • Forenames
    Gerald Curtis AWMM
  • Surname
    Wright AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • J15326 AWMM
    • Korea 15326 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    20 July 1938 Operation Grapple (2021) WaimaramaHawkes Bay Operation Grapple (2021)
  • 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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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • 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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  • Served with rank of AB in Operation Grapple on HMNZS Pukaki from 10.2.1958 to 14.11.1958. Operation Grapple research by Arthur Venus and Gerry Wright (2021).

    Following biographical detail provided by Gerry Wright (January 2022):

    HMNZS Santon 2nd Crew (October 1965- June 1966)

    Secondary School – Seddon Memorial Technical College 1952-1954.

    Qualifications – Failed School Certificate Carpentry (27% for English)

    Joined the RNZN – 27 January, 1955, as a Seaman Boy, Second Class, in the 33rd class.

    HMNZS Tamaki - 27 January, 1955.

    27 June, 1955 - Promoted to Seaman Boy First Class.

    Promoted to Leading Boy in Second Term.

    Promoted to Petty Officer Boy in Third Term.

    At the end of year Passing Out Parade I was awarded The Cleland Cup for best Boy.

    Commissioned and Warrant Papers were established.

    12 January, 1956, Promoted to Junior Seaman.

    13 January,1956, posted to HMNZS Kaniere.

    20 January, 1956, promoted to Ordinary Seaman.

    Kaniere sailed for the Far East Station in February, 1956, and returned in May, 1957.

    20 April, 1957, promoted to Able Seamen backdated six months

    While on leave I worked on building the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

    16 September, 1957, posted to HMNZS Philomel for a basic Radar Course.

    7 February, 1958, qualified Radar Plotter, Star.

    10 February, 1858, posted to HMNZS Pukaki.

    Pukaki was twice deployed to Christmas Island for Operation Grapple (British H-Bomb tests)

    I witnessed five H-Bomb detonated.

    I was employed operating the wind finding radar every six hours for a minimum of an hour.

    At Christmas Island I qualified for promotion to Leading Seaman.

    15 November 1958 posted to HMNZS Royalist. Promoted to Acting Leading Seaman back dated to 7 August, 1958.
    4 February, 1959, posted to HMNZS Philomel for an education course.

    7 August, 1959, was confirmed in rank of Leading Seaman.
    28 November, 1959, posted to HMNZS Maori (London) for Upper Yardman training.

    I flew to the UK in an RNZAF Hastings aircraft which took eight days to reach England.

    1 January, 1960, HMS Victory, Portsmouth, for Officer Selection Board.

    When asked by the Selection Board if Seddon Memorial Technical College was a Public School I answered ‘yes’. The public went to that school. I later learned that in the UK a Public School was a Private School. I passed the Selection Board.

    29 January, 1960, I was posted to HMS Temeraire near Edinburgh ss an Upper Yardman.

    24 September, 1960, Temeraire was transferred to Dartmouth as a division of the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
    12 February, 1961, I was posted to HMS Teaser, a destroyer, for sea training.

    24 February, 1961, I was posted back to BRNC Dartmouth.
    1 May, 1961, I was promoted to Acting Sub Lieutenant, RNZN. I was granted a penny a day pay rise. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • 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
    • This record was created from Operation Grapple research by Arthur Venus and Gerry Wright and kindly provided by Gerry Wright (2021). AWMM
    • Wright, G. C. (2007). We were there : Operation Grapple : the story of New Zealand's involvement in the British nuclear weapons tests at Christmas Island 1957-58. [Auckland, N.Z : Gerry Wright] AWMM
    • Wright, G. (2006). A kiwi on our funnel : The story of H.M.N.Z. ships Hickleton and Santon during Confrontation. Auckland, N.Z.: Gerry Wright. AWMM

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