Date of Birth: 11th of October 1920, in Cambridge
Personal Details: Victor was the son of Victor McGregor Mortenson and Amy Gravener Mortensen. He was the husband of Marie Rae Mortenson, of Avondale, Auckland. Before joining the RNZAF, Victor was a warehouseman with Motor Specialties Ltd., Auckland
Service Details: Victor spent a year in the New Zealand Territorial Army, as a member of 2 Battalion, Auckland Regiment. Upon joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force on the 24th of October 1942he was posted to the Aerodrome Defence Unit at RNZAF Station Waipapakauri in Northland as an Aircrafthand.
Victor entered the Initial Training Wing at Rotorua on the 3rd of March 1943 to begin aircrew training and remustered to Airman Pilot u/t the following day. He progressed to No. 1 Elementary Flying training School at RNZAF Station Taierion the 29th of May 1943 where he learned to fly in de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moths.
On the 24th of July 1943 Victor was posted to Woodbourne and commenced his advanced flying training at No. 2 Service Flying Training School there, on North American Harvards. He received his 'wings' Pilots Badge on the 27th of September 1943, and received a commission as a Pilot Officer on the 20th of November.
On the 11th of December 1943 Victor was posted to the Central Flying School at RNZAF Station Tauranga to learn how to be an instructor, and after this course on the 8th of February 1944 he took up duties as a flying instructor at 1EFTS, Taieri.
After a spell of training other pilots, Victor was posted to No. 2 Operational Training Unit at Ohakea to convert onto the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, to become a fighter pilot, on the 30th of September 1944. He soon progressed to the Corsair Conversion Training Flight at RNZAF Station Ardmore on the 25th of November 44 where he converted to the Corsair, followed by a posting to the A C Pool on the 16 December 1944.
On the 29th of January 1944 Victor was posted to No. 23 (Fighter) Squadron, RNZAF, the unit known as 'The Ghosts'. They proceeded as a unit to the Forward Area on the 12th of February 1945.
Date of Death : 28th of March 1945, aged 24. Victor was flying in Corsair NZ5450 on the 28th of March 1945 when his aircraft collided in formation with Corsair NZ5430, flown by Pilot Officer H. Brougham. The collision occurred 20 miles off Djaul Island. Victor's aircraft suffered tail separation, and though Pilot Officer Brougham was able to parachute to safety from his Corsair, sadly Victor had no time and his aircraft dived from 3000 feet into the sea, and he was killed.
Commemorated at: Panel 4 of the Bourail Memorial
Connection with Cambridge: Victor was born in Cambridge
Thanks To: David Duxbury for providing the initial details on Victor Mortensen
Sources: For Your Tomorrow Volumes Two and Three by Errol Martyn.