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Herbert Gregory Ballantyne

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Herbert Gregory AWMM
  • Surname
    Ballantyne AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 36265 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    20 August 1917 AWMM HastingsHawkes Bay AWMM
    Hastings, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 25 June 1938 AWMM Corner of Market & St Aubrey Streets, Hastings, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Edith Emily Ballantyne (mother), Corner of Market & Aubyn Streets, Hastings, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 Mother: Mrs E. E. Ballantyne, Market Street, Hastings AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
    • Pilot/Military RNZAF Biographies (R17845607)
    • Photo Reconnaissance/Military RNZAF Biographies (R17845607)
  • Enlistment
    Inter War 25 June 1938 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
    Accidental Death, Cause of Death AWMM
    Accidentally killed on active service AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Herbert was the youngest son of Herbert Gregory and Edith Emily Ballantyne (nee Hartshorn) of Hastings, who at the time of his birth were farming at Puketapu, Hawkes Bay.

    His father, Herbert Ballantyne Senior, developed diabetes and in 1924 and was forced to sell the farm due to this illness. He died in at his home in France Road, Hastings 1925 aged 56 years

    Herbert started his schooling at the Puketapu School on 5 February 1923. He attended the Hastings West School from 1929-1930 and the Hastings High School from 1930-1933. At Hastings High School he sat for the University of New Zealand's Matriculation examination in December 1933. He failed in English but gained an A pass in mathematics. He enjoyed sport, playing football for the 1st XV and 1st XI at Hastings West School. He was also a member of the Heretaunga Swimming Club, the Craggy Range Rifle Club, the Territorial Badminton Club and played tennis on the family court

    On 1 February 1934 he took a position with the clerical staff of the Hawkes Bay Farmers Cooperative Association at Hastings. In order to better his position he joined the Stock Department (clerical division) of Dalgety and Company Ltd on 1 November 1934

    In March 1936 he joined the Territorial D Support Company of the Hawkes Bay Regiment. He attained the rank of Corporal and served until 1938

    In 1938 he successfully applied to join the Civil Reserve of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. On 10 February 1939 he applied for a short service commission with the RNZAF. At this time he had just completed 40 hours of flying, having undergone his elementary flying training with the Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club. He was provisionally selected for a short service commission in June 1939 and granted a temporary commission to the rank of Pilot Officer during his period of training in New Zealand. He was posted to the Ground Training School, Wigram, on 25 October 1939 for his service flying training and on 12 February 1940 he was awarded the flying badge

    Herbert embarked for England on board the ship the Rangitane on 23 February 1940. According to the New Zealand Gazette No 91, 13 November 1941, he relinquished his commission to the RNZAF and was granted a short service commission with the RAF

    On 27 April 1940 he was posted to No 1 Operational Training Unit, Silloth, Cumberland, where he flew an Anson Aircraft, afterwards converting to a Hudson Aircraft at the same station

    In late June 1940 Herbert was posted to No 206 Squadron at Bircham, Newton. From Bircham, Newton, as the Pilot of a Hudson, he took part in 17 operational flights. These operations were shipping convoys over the North Sea; photographic reconnaissance flights of Hamburg and Breman and night reconnaissance flights and bombing raids on Amsterdam

    Herbert was killed in an air accident on 14 August 1940 during an operational night flight . A full report was made on the accident and his death was not attributed to enemy action. It was found that the accident occurred due to loss of control during a turn after taking off at night. Additionally, this turn was made too close to the aerodrome and at too low a height. The Wing Commander of No 206 Squadron said "This pilot, although comparatively inexperienced, was of a very confident nature, he had done nearly half of his total flying on Hudson Aircraft. Although we cannot be certain of the exact cause of the accident, it is thought that he had his cockpit lights on too brightly, and did not realize he was over-banking on his initial turn until recovery was too late." The port wing hit higher ground to the south west of the aerodrome. The plane then crashed into the ground at a speed of 200 knots, cart wheeled over several times and disintegrated and was destroyed by fire. Three of the four crew member were killed

    Herbert is buried in the Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard in Bircham. The inscription on Herbert's plot at Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard reads: BALLANTYNE, PILOT OFFR. (PILOT) HERBERT GREGORY, 36265. R.A.F 206 SQUADRON. 14TH AUGUST, 1940. AGED 22 SON OF HERBERT GREGORY BALLANTYNE, AND OF EDITH EMILY BALLANTYNE (NEE HARTSHORN) OF HASTINGS, HAWKES BAY, NEW ZEALAND

    Herbert is also remembered on the Memorial Stone at St Matthews Church, Hastings which was dedicated on Sunday 22 April 1951

    Herbert is again remembered by a plaque on the right side wall inside of Puketapu Church, Hawkes Bay. It reads: TO THE GLORY OF GOD


    Attended Hastings High School (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845607)) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    14 August 1940 AWMM
    Age 22 AWMM
    EnglandUnited Kingdom AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Great Bircham (St Mary) Churchyard, Norfolk, England AWMM Plot 1 Row 1 Grave 7 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Memorial Stone, St Matthews Church, Hastings AWMM
    • Memorial plaque, Puketapu Church, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand AWMM

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  • External links
  • References
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939 - 1945 (Bound Volumes) - Ab - B. Archives New Zealand (R17845607) - Former archives reference: AIR118 AWMM
    • Please note that the 12 volumes of the "RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939-1945" held at Archives NZ (formerly known as AIR118) should be used in conjunction with Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow". FYT reflects detailed examination of all of the AIR118 bios which contain many inaccuracies and omissions. AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Personnel Killed or Missing in Various Theatres, 1940 - 1945. [(New Zealanders Attached to R.A.F. [Royal Air Force]) (Officers), (Europe) - Airmen]. Archives New Zealand (R17845744) AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Deceased New Zealanders (Formerly) serving with RAF [Royal Air Force]. Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R17845760). AWMM

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