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William Albert Barnett



  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Albert AWMM
  • Surname
    Barnett AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ413929 AWMM
    • WWII 133203 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 August 1919 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 68 Old Mill Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs K.E. Barnett (mother), 68 Old Mill Road, New Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1942 AWMM Single AWMM


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

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • WW2 POW - Stalag XA, Schleswig, Germany AWMM
    • WW2
      31 March 1945 AWMM
      Captain of a Mosquito bomber, dropping mines in the Elbe River near Hamburg. The aircraft was hit by flak and subsequently ditched in the North Sea off Denmark. His dinghy was washed ashore four days later on the North Frisian Islands. AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 5 May 1945 AWMM The German Commandant handed over responsibility for the camp to Flying Officer Barnett and, along with all of the guards, withdrew. AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Died from Natural Causes, Cause of Death AWMM
    Died in old age AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Was a member of the Pathfinder Force with 627 (PFF) Squadron RAF.

    On re-entry to the RNZAF in 1953, flew with 41 Squadron [Bristol Freighters] and 42 Squadron [Dakotas]. During 1953 - 1954 flew with the Royal Flight RNZAF for the Royal Tour. Also served with The Queens Flight RAF during a Royal Visit to Nepal in 1961.

    Member of the 'Goldfish Club'. Whilst serving with the 627 Squadron, On the 27th March Flying Officer Barnett was on a Special Mine Laying operation, near Heligoland, light flak, caused the crew to belly-flop into the ocean. Flying Officer Barnett and Flight Sergeant J.A. Day of the Royal Australian Air Force spent four days in the ocean. On the fourth morning they awoke to find themselves bouncing on a rock close to a rock wall which turned out to be Hallig Hooge in the North Friesian Islands. He was then taken as a Prisoner of War in Schleswig.

    "After two weeks in Hospital for treatment of his injuries from the forced-landing, Barnett was made Officer-in-Charge of the Camp which had no other officers. On May 5, the German commandmant of the camp handed over responsibility to Fg Off Barnett when he, and all his guards withdrew. After solving the food problems of the camp he was some days later, appointed by the Allied Contol Commission as officer responsible for all the territory between the Danish border and the Kiel Canal, containing some 5,000 plus SS troops, and over 500 aircraft, including many single seat FW 190s which continued to arrive from the Eastern Front with up to three pilots sharing the one seat. Fg Off Barnett continued to exercise the responsibility for this area for some weeks before being repatriated to the United Kingdom, and eventual retun to New Zealand.

    Sqn Ldr Barnett returned to active flying in the RNZAF in 1953 when he flew with 41 Sqn (Bristol Freighter), including supply dropping in Malaya and Thailand; the RNZAF Transport Support Unit and 42 Sqn RNZAF. Service with the 42 Sqn included duty with the 'Queen's Flight' during the Royal Tour of New Zealand in 1953-1954. 1961 saw service with the Queen's Flight, RAF, with Flt Lt Barnett and crew giving essential support with an RNZAF Bristol Freighter aircraft during the Nepal phase of a Royal Tour to that area." Hanson, p. 74 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    30 May 2011 AWMM
    Age 91 AWMM
    GlendowieAuckland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    • Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 1 June 2011 AWMM
    • BARNETT, William Albert (Bill). Squadron Leader NZ413929. Peacefully at St Andrew's Village on 30 May 2011, aged 91 years. Dearly loved husband of the late Dilys, much loved father and father-in-law of Jim and Pamela, Elizabeth and Mike, Pamela, loved grandfather of Rosalind, Anne, Phillip, David, Julia, Caroline and Andrew and Great Grandfather of Jayde and Kaelyn. A service for Bill will be held at the All Souls Chapel, Purewa Crematorium, 100 St Johns Rd, Meadowbank on Thursday 2 June at 1.00pm. Published by The New Zealand Herald on Jun. 1, 2011. Public - John - Researcher - 7 October 2023 - Obituary online
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
22 April 2024AntonioHastings DistrictResearcher
07 October 2023JohnBlenheimResearcher

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