Corin and Abrahams took off in an Oxford II trainer around 1500 hours from RNZAF 3 Service Flying Training School, Ohakea, and failed to return. An intensive aerial search failed to find any trace of the aircraft or its occupants. Nearly four months later the wreckage of the aircraft was seen at a distance by Norris Trass when he was deer-stalking.
"A finding that there was nothing to show that the aircraft had not been airworthy was contained in the verdict of the Coroner, Mr. W. G. L. Mellish, at the inquest yesterday afternoon into the death of James Edgar Norman Corin, aged 30, and Ronald Alfred Walter Abrahams, aged 23, leading aircraftmen, who crashed in the Tararua Ranges after leaving an aerodrome at 2.55 p.m. on January 14 for a training flight. The Coroner said he thought that the assumption could be made that the airmen were flying blind in a cloud and struck a hill without seeing it, or saw the hill too late.
Constable E. B. McCallum, of Masterton, said that with Flying Officer Murray Foster, other members of Air Force personnel, and Norris Trass, sheepfarmer, he left for North King, in the Mitre Peak region of the Tararuas, on May 24. Because of the weather, the party had to stay in the Mitre Hut, and left again at daybreak on May 26. The scene of the crash was reached at 10.45 a.m. that day, after they had traversed over, one foot of snow for the last half mile. The wind had made a 3ft drift of snow around the plane, the only parts of which visible were the top of the rudder, part of the starboard wing, and portion of the fuselage. The port engine was practically buried in the hillside, and it would appear that the plane had struck head on." ... "The two bodies were found in the cockpit, still strapped in the seats. The remains were buried on the ridge, the burial service being read by Flying Officer Foster. A small cairn of rocks was built at the head of the grave, and two small white wooden crosses erected, bearing the name, number, and rank of each man. A clock on the instrument board had stopped at 3.49. The gun turret was found in the bush 40 yards below the wreck.
Flying Officer Murray said that in his opinion the aircraft collided with the hillside practically head on while the pilot was flying blind at a possible speed of 140 miles an hour. He would say that death was instantaneous.
Norris Trass, of Miki Miki, Masterton, who saw the aircraft from a distance on April 22 when he was on a deer-stalking expedition, described two visits to the scene with airmen.
Flight Lieutenant M. R. Jackson produced the file containing the proceedings of a Court of Inquiry. The evidence, he said, showed that between 5.30 and 6 a.m. on January 13, the aircraft was examined for serviceability and found to be in order. On their instructions the men would carry out a wind-speed and direction finding exercise by the three-course method, which involved flying a triangular course.
In his verdict the Coroner commended Mr. Trass for the assistance he gave, and also Constable McCallum for his careful report." [Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume CXXXIII, Issue 150, 27 June 1942, p 6]
Abrahams’ father, Flight Sergeant Walter Alfred Abrahams died on 10 July, 1944, of natural causes whilst serving in the RNZAF.
There are no public contributions written for this casualty
Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum