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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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136 crest
136 Squadron Hurricane IIC HV726 Fl/Sgt. Albert John Carpenter

Operation: Scramble

Date: 04th April 1943 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 136 Squadron.166 Wing. 224 Group. (motto: Nihil Fortius - 'Nothing too tough)

Type: Hurricane IIC

Serial: HV726

Code: HM-?

Base: Chittagong, India

Location: Sing Hara, near Patna

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Albert John Carpenter NZ/413023 Age 27. Killed


Researched by Sonia Edwards for Aircrew Remembered June 2022.


REASON FOR LOSS:

136 Squadron scrambled to intercept a raid by the Japanese. Hurricane IIC HV726 took off at 1425 with ten other aircraft but was found to be missing after engagement with the enemy. It was later discovered to have crashed in flames near the airfield at Sing Hara, near Patna.

Further information on the pilot:

Was living at Thornton where Albert attended primary school. He is remembered in the Thornton School Jubilee book, Ruled by the Rivers produced by Kath Law, in 1962.

Albert Carpenter went to Seddon Memorial Technical College in Auckland for his secondary education and became a shop assistant at Woolworths Ltd in Auckland. He married Olive Burroughs Negus in 1940. They lived at St Heliers.

Albert volunteered for the New Zealand Air Force. He joined the Initial Training Wing as an Airman Pilot under training, at Levin, 25th May 1941. Here trainees were formally attested, kitted out, and given a four weeks’ course of basic service training and drill. They attended lectures in navigation, mathematics, airmanship, Air Force law, discipline, and hygiene. Those who passed satisfactorily went on to Elementary Flying Training School. Carpenter was at 4 Elementary Flying School by 3 July, for an eight weeks’ course, dividing his time between learning to fly, and continuing his ground studies. Elementary map reading and pilot navigation were included.

AlbertCarpenter flew his first solo on the 17th July 1941, before going to 3 Flying Training School in August. He gained his Pilot’s badge with effect from 29 September and by November was classed as Sergeant. By the end of the year (December) Carpenter was attached to the RAF and able to embark for the United Kingdom. He reached 3 Personnel Reception Centre Bournemouth, Dorset, 9 February 1942.

Carpenter went to 9 Pilots’ Advanced Training Unit by 23 February and then moved on in April to 55 Operational Training Unit for experience flying Hurricanes.

Joined 136 Squadron RAF a fighter squadron with Hawker Hurricane aircraft, in Burma, 26th July 1942. He flew 52 operations with the Squadron, which was first based at Rangoon in Burma. The Japanese advance was swift and the Allies had to withdraw to India when Burma fell. The RAF had several bases in India but 136 Squadron was eventually at Chittagong in East Bengal. The Japanese were in Northern Burma, having captured Mandalay in June. The Allied Forces were reorganising in India. Monsoon weather and mountainous territory added to the dangers. The fighter squadron provided convoy patrols and air defence operating over the Burma front from Alipore and Chittagong airstrips.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Albert John Carpenter. Chittagong War Cemetery. Grave 7.B.8. He is commemorated at Takapuna War Memorial and within the Hall of Memories at Auckland War Memorial Museum. He attended Thornton School where he was remembered. Born in Whakatāne on the 10th May 1915/ Bon of Albert and Margaret Carpenter (née McTavish) and husband of Olive Burroughs Carpenter (née Legus), of Glendowie, Auckland City, New Zealand. A total of 447 hours and was credited with 1 enemy aircraft probable.

Above: L-R: Rear; Trevor Windsor Allen NZ/413007, Keith Marwood Boles NZ/413017, J.D. Aitken, M.O. Jorgenson, A.B. Atkinson, Desmond Lewis Thompson NZ/413152, H.A. Smith, Edgar Neve NZ/413112, R.M. Mills, TS Newlands.
Centre; Thomas Henry Davidson NZ/412661, William Anderson Fraser NZ/403597, Norman Bernhard Berntsen NZ/411360, R.B. Browning, J.C.E. Leaning, Thomas Wadeson Buckley NZ/413021, C.W.R. Farquhar, R.L. Geardon.
Front; J.S. Prentice, S.R.T. Howell, Albert John Carpenter NZ/413023, Linsay Johnston Drummond NZ/413043, Frank Chambers NZ/413024, Arthur James Tanner NZ/413148, R.A. Wadham, Richard James Clarke NZ/403949.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Sonia Edwards also to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, Air Museum of New Zealand, Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland, Law Kath Ruled by the Rivers Thornton School Jubilee booklet. 1962 p 5, Thompson HL New Zealanders with the RAF Vol 3. p 287-290. War History Branch. other sources as quoted below:

KTY/SE 31-05-2022

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Acknowledgements
Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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