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Ronald Percy McNabb

Portrait (kindly provided by his sister, June, May 2009) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait (kindly provided by his sister, June, May 2009) - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Ronald Percy AWMM
  • Surname
    McNabb AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • NZ404393 AWMM
    • WWII 404393 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 May 1922 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Post Office Residence, Hunterville, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Charles Percy McNabb (father), Post Master, Hunterville, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 Parents: Mr. and Mrs. C. P. McNabb of Morrinsville Lincoln Street, Morrinsville 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 (R17845613)
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM
    Age 18 AWMM
    Student/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
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      6 foot 4 inches AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Blue AWMM
    • Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
      Killed on air operations AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Only son of Charles Percy McNabb and Maude Alexandra Ena McNabb; brother of June Maud

      Embarked for Singapore and transhipped to Burma where the 67th Squadron (RAF) was stationed at Rangoon

      "It was early in his childhood that the interest in flying was kindled. Even as a toddler he would find a scrap of paper and say "draw bird". Once he caught going upstairs in the Collingwood Post Office residence where he lived at the time with the family cat under one arm and a home made parachute under the other that his father had to explain to him that family cats were not used in experiments with parachutes of doubtful worthiness. Ronald was always drawing aeroplanes.

      On Christmas day 1941 Sergeant Pilot McNabb was seen taking off in company of two or three other pilots to intercept Japanese aircraft which were approaching Mingaladan airfield. They were all shot down. The bodies of three New Zealanders killed that day were recovered but Ronald's plane or body was never found. So he has no known grave.

      On the 3rd January 1942 his blood stained parachute and helmet were brought into the British Military Hospital by a medical orderly (they were identified as belonging to him) so what actually happened to Ronald has always been a mystery. As you can imagine causing great distress to the family.

      The air strength of the 67 (RAF) Squadron was sixteen obsolescent Brewster Buffalo fighters with a further 16 in reserve aircraft. They were supported by twenty Curtis P.40 Tomahawks of the 3rd Squadron American Volunteer Group (AVG) "The Flying Tigers".

      Our young men were shot down by Japanese fighters. The Makajima K127 Nate. They [our men] were outnumbered and inexperienced, they never had a chance.

      I have tried to see if these young men could get some recognition on ANZAC Days as I suspect most New Zealanders would be ignorant of the fact that there were any of our young men in Burma. Due to the fact that they were attached to the Royal Air Force. But I have not been successful so far." Correspondence from family

      Next of kin details compiled from information in the Casualty lists published in the newspapers.

      Attended Takaka Collingwood, Marton District High School (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845613)) AWMM
    • I am the current President of the Hunterville RSA researching those fallen named on our cenotaph.
      I would be delighted to read your biographical information in memory of Ronald at next years ANZAC Dawn Service, with your permission of course.
      President Hunterville RSA Public - David - Researcher - 17 July 2018 - Hunetrville Cenotaph
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About death

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  • Death
    25 December 1941 AWMM
    Age 19 AWMM
    Myanmar (Burma)Southeast Asia 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
    Singapore Memorial, Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore AWMM

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Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
04 August 2021KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher
17 July 2018David New ZealandResearcher

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