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Freeman Jesse Steel

Portrait of Squadron Leader Freeman Jesse Steel, Auckland Weekly News, 10 June 1942. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19420610-22-18. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Squadron Leader Freeman Jesse Steel, Auckland Weekly News, 10 June 1942. Sir George Grey …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Freeman Jesse AWMM
  • Surname
    Steel AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Jim AWMM
    • Jimbo AWMM
  • Service number
    • NZ391370 AWMM
    • 132238 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    7 July 1918 AWMM MastertonWairarapa AWMM
  • 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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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM
    Age 21 AWMM
    Clerk 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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Joined RAF 20 November 1939

    He flew a large number of bombing missions over Germany with the RAF.

    'The crews of the heavier bombers-most of them flew Wellingtons for there were still only a few longer range Liberators and Halifaxes- went out by night to attack enemy ports, shipping and supply dumps; they also bombed concentrations of tanks and vehicles in the battle area. Squadron Leader Steel was one of the men who captained Wellington aircraft on these type of missions.' (Thompson (1959), page 85)

    'Night fighter patrols, bombing and photographic reconnaissance missions were also flown by New Zealanders during these months. Squadron Leader F.J. Steel, Flight Lieutenant Blundell and Flying Officer Grey won special commendation for their work with the few Wellington bombers that remained at Malta. Steele, who had already completed a tour of operations over Europe as a bomber captain, now flew another twenty-six missions against targets in Italy and Libya." (Thompson (1959), page 145)

    In New Zealand by 1943 , he was one of the founding members of No. 40 Squadron

    After the war he became a founding member of the Civil Aviation Authority from which he retired in 1977 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    12 July 2004 AWMM
    Age 86 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, 24 July 2004 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • Remembering you especially this year Jimmy with the 100year ANZAC celebrations but you and Helen are always in our hearts, thoughts and minds. Rest well dearest father-in-law.
    Public - Tracey Michele - Other Relative - 18 June 2015



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  • External links
    Thompson, H. (1959). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol III). Wellington: Dept of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. Digital Copy
    Sources Used
  • Documents
    • N.Z.E.F. Times AWMM
      NZEF Times AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      vol. 3 p. 590 ref 37 AWMM
    • Thompson, H. (1956). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vols. 1-3). Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Vol. 3, pp. 85, 145. AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: 24 July 2004 AWMM


Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
18 June 2015Tracey MichelePorirua, NZOther Relative
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