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Bert Sam Wipiti

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Portrait of Warrant Officer Bert Sam Wipiti, Auckland Weekly News, 29 December 1943. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19431229-20-36. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Warrant Officer Bert Sam Wipiti, Auckland Weekly News, 29 December 1943. Auckland Librar …

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Bert Sam AWMM
  • Surname
    Wipiti AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Herbert Samuel Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 11 July 2015 - Memorial board at Altar - St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance, Biggin Hill, Kent, England.
  • Service number
    NZ41388 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    16 January 1922 AWMM New PlymouthTaranaki AWMM
    New Plymouth, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) AWMM
    23 March 1942. 243 (RAF) Squadron and 453 (RAAF) Squadron (Buffalo), carried out a large number of operational flights against the enemy and has displayed outstanding courage and determination Hanson p. 522 AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
    Killed on air operations AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Joined 485 Squadron RNZAF (Spitfire) August 1943 AWMM
    • Bert was educated at New Plymouth Boys High School. He was the first Maori airman to leave New Zealand on active duty when he was posted to Singapore. He became an air ace by destroying five Japanese aircraft. Public - Ian Banks - Researcher - 5 June 2020 - Research
    • Bert Sam Wipiti grew up in New Plymouth and spent three years at New Plymouth Boy’s High School before beginning work as a junior refrigeration technician with Pattersons Ltd in New Plymouth. When World War Two broke out he enlisted with the RNZAF and received his training in Levin, Bell Block and Ohakea. He was promoted to Sergeant just before leaving for overseas in July 1941. He was posted to Singapore with the 243 Squadron at Kallang Airport. Bert stood out for his expertise during the aerial assault by the Japanese forces on Singapore where it is thought he was responsible for the first enemy aircraft to be shot down by his squadron. He was awarded the DFM for his service in Singapore. The citation read; “Sergeant Wipiti carried out a large number of operational flights against the enemy and displayed outstanding courage and determination whilst engaging large formations of enemy aircraft. He set a fine example to all.” After Singapore Bert was posted to Calcutta where he joined the 67 Squadron (RAF). He was promoted to Warrant Officer in 1943 and posted to England where he was trained in flying Spitfires before joining the 485 (NZ) Squadron at Briggin Hill, Kent. Bert died on 3 October 1944 after his aircraft was shot-down by enemy aircraft while escorting bombers over coastal France. His aircraft crashed into the sea and was lost. Bert’s name is commemorated on the Runnymeade memorial, England. Public - Louise - Researcher - 9 September 2020 - West, J. (1995). Lest We Forget. New Plymouth: New Plymouth Boy’s High School Centennial Trust.
      Puke Ariki, Swainson/Woods Collection ARC# SW1923-1965.00235 & ARC 2002-1005
      Retrieved from https://collection.pukeariki.com/objects/87984 & https://collection.pukeariki.com/objects/35769
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    3 October 1943 AWMM
    Age 21 AWMM
    Europe 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

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name
    Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • The Weekly News AWMM
      Weekly News, 1943 AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM

Contributors

Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
19 April 2021KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher
09 September 2020LouiseNew Plymouth, New ZealandResearcher
05 June 2020Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
11 July 2015SarndraAuckland, New ZealandResearcher

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

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